We get lots of questions about resources that we found helpful in the aftermath of losing Jackson. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a few of our favorite books, articles, podcasts, etc. that got us through hard times.
Two general books on coping with grief:
Memoirs/books written by parents who have lost children:
Other memoirs about death and dying:
When Breath Becomes Air (Paul Kalanithi)
The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying (Nina Riggs)
No Happy Endings (Nora McInerny)
Two books from Buddhist perspective on loss:
Articles by Jayson Greene, an opinion writer for the New York Times, about the sudden loss of his 2 year old daughter:
His book: Once More We Saw Stars (also mentioned above)
Having a Child after Losing a Child (Amber Scorah)
When Sturdy Love is What You Need (Michelle DuBarry)
Their baby died during his nap. Then medical bureaucrats deepened the parents’ anguish (Eric Boodman) A very informative article explaining what we really know (and don’t know) about unexplained categories of death (like SIDS and SUDC), and how it impacts families.
Halloween and Grief: When the nightmare is real (Megan Divine)
We follow Nora McInerny, a writer who lost her pregnancy, husband, and father all in the span of 6 weeks. She has an amazing podcast focused on "real talk" with people who have been through hard times. It’s successfully and simultaneously heavy and lighthearted, will make you laugh and cry at the same time.
Other podcast episodes:
The Thing Is (Poem by Ellen Bass)
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again
Except from A Grief Observed:
“There are moments, most unexpectedly, when something inside me tries to assure me that I don’t really mind so much, not so very much, after all... I was happy before I ever met H… One is ashamed to listen to this voice but it seems for a little to be making out a good case. Then comes a sudden jab of red-hot memory and all this “common sense” vanishes like an ant in the mouth of a furnace.” - C.S. Lewis
Excerpt from The Rabbit Hole:
[Becca]: “Does it ever go away… this feeling?”
[Nat]: “No, I don’t think it does … it changes though.”
[Nat]: I don’t know. The weight of it, I guess. At some point it becomes bearable. It turns into something you can crawl out from under, and carry around — like a brick in your pocket. And you forget it every once in a while, but then you reach in for whatever reason and there it is: “Oh, right. That.” Which can be awful. But not all the time. Sometimes it’s kinda ... not that you like it exactly, but it’s what you have instead of your son, so you don’t wanna let go of it either. So you carry it around. And it doesn’t go away, which is ...
[Nat]: “Fine … actually.”
Poems & Excerpts
We love these empathy cards made by Emily McDowell, specifically made for times you want to say something but don’t know what to say.