Resources for Bereavement and Grief

Sunlight through the window of the Memorial Church

The experience of loss is profound and unique to each of us. In the aftermath of loss we are confronted with the complexities of grief and the question of “Where do I go from here?” Support is best found in community, in gathering together to listen and share each other's pain and loss. The global pandemic is significantly limiting our ability to meet in person.

This page is designed to help you approach the experiences of grief and loss with intention and honesty, and to provide the resources to assist you through these times. No matter your situation, we hope to offer you strength and guidance. Select each tab below to engage the resources for reflection, meditation, and for further support beyond this page.

Lastly, we are grateful to our colleagues from across the University whose contributions to this page are invaluable, especially the Memorial Church Clergy and Seminarians, Affiliated Ministers, and Harvard Chaplains.

The Rev. Emmanuel Akyeampong
The Rev. Laura Tuach
The Rev. Kerry Maloney
Tammy McLeod
KMarie Tejeda, MDiv ‘20
The Rev. Aric Flemming, MDiv ‘19
Sally Hammel MDiv III
Father Vassilios Bebis
John S. Thompson
Father Patrick J. Fiorillo

Resources

Readings About Grief

Grief is what we experience in the aftermath of loss – it can be a time of oscillating emotions such as anger, fear, sadness, grief, and many others. Writings on grief and loss, some scholarly and others poetic, are expansive. But reading about how other people encounter and experience grief helps us make sense of our own feelings.

Guiding questions for engaging with readings
● Before you begin reading, take a moment to acknowledge what may be on your heart.

● As you read, notice what comes up for you. How does your body feel?

● Ask yourself if the reading opens a new window into your experience?

● Note how you can integrate this reading into the rest of your day? Are there particular words or sentences that ground you, speak to a feeling you are experiencing, inspire something interesting, or new?

Poems:
To fight aloud is very brave - Emily Dickinson

Dear Lovely Death - Langston Hughes

Train ride - Ruth Stone

The grasses - Rumi

Caged Bird - Maya Angelou

Wild geese - Mary Oliver

In a Dark Time - Christine Valters Paintner

Readings:

 

Prayers and Scripture in Time of Loss

In times of deep sorrow and great loss, many people find solace and hope in the depth of God’s presence and power conveyed in scripture. Prayers, too, offer space for us to be with God in whatever we might be feeling – God is with us no matter our emotion. These sacred words and well-worn prayers remind us that we belong to God and each other. We are not alone.

Guiding questions for engaging with readings
Before you begin reading, take a moment to acknowledge what may be on your heart.

As you read, notice what comes up for you. How does your body feel?

Does the reading open a new window into your experience?

How might you integrate this reading into the rest of your day? Are there particular words or sentences that ground you, speak to a feeling you are experiencing, inspire something interesting, or new?

Suggested Passages from the Bible:
Psalm 34:17-19, speaks of God’s nearness, especially in times of sorrow.

Psalm 46:1-3 tells of God as our refuge and strength.

Psalm 90 interweaves themes of God’s steadfastness and the limitations of humanity.

Psalm 23 uses the image of a shepherd to convey God’s presence in our lives. It is often read at funerals and memorial services.

Psalm 121 reminds us of God’s protection.

Psalm 130 contains powerful words of lament.

Isaiah 25:6-9 the Prophet Isaiah reassures us of God’s comfort.

Isaiah 40:28-31 the words of the Prophet lift up praises to God and point to God’s power.

Matthew 5:3-10 is an excerpt from Jesus’ sermon that is commonly called the Beatitudes.

John 14:1-14 tells of Jesus’ faithfulness to us.

Romans 8:31-39 the Apostle Paul in writes that nothing can separate us from God’s love.

2 Corinthians 4:7-10 Paul encourages us to always keep Jesus near.

Philippians 4:13 words of encouragement from Paul in his letter

Revelation 21:1-4 offers a vision of a new heaven and a new earth.

Prayers:
A prayer you can offer for a specific person who has died
Mighty God, you created us and you redeemed us. Now, Lord, redeem our grief. Be our comfort. Be our strength. You created our beloved [name], and you gave them to us to know and to love in our life here on earth. Give us courage, give us peace as we miss [name]. Remind us, convince us that not even death is strong enough to separate us from your love and care. Remind us, convince us that even death is not strong enough to separate us completely from those we love. Remind us of the joy we know in the communion of the saints. Console us and comfort us in the guaranteed hope of the resurrection of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.(adapted from reformedworship.org)

A prayer for God to be near and to guide
Great God of all mystery, if in the presence of death our thoughts are startled and our words flutter about like frightened birds, bring us stillness that we may cover the sorrow of our hearts with folded hands. Give us grace to wait on you silently and with patience. You are nearer to us than we know, closer than we can imagine. If we cannot find you, it is because we search in far places. Before we felt the pain, you suffered it; before the burden came upon us, your strength lifted it; before the sorrow clouded our hearts, you were grieved. As you walk in the valley of every shadow, be our good shepherd and sustain us while we walk with you, lest in weakness we falter. Though the pain deepens, keep us in your way and guide us past every danger; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
(Book of Worship, U.C.C.)

A prayer for someone grieving
God, the Creator of mercies and giver of all comfort, look down in pity and compassion upon your sorrowing servants; lighten the burdens which weigh them down in soul and body; shelter them from the forces of evil; let the light of your presence shine upon them and give them perfect peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(A New Zealand Prayer Book)

A prayer for when we feel overwhelmed
God, who quiets storms to a whisper and hushes the sea’s waves, quiet the rumbling noises inside me, smooth the sharp edges of my soul, and give me peace in this stormy time. Amen.
(Common Prayer for Children and Families)

A prayer for when we are sad
Jesus, you were not afraid to hide your sadness: you were sad and cried with others when Lazarus had died; you were sad and cried for others when you saw your city reject God’s love; you were sad and cried for yourself when you were overwhelmed; but you had faith that sadness doesn’t last forever: give us your spirit of hope that, someday, our sadness will be overcome with joy. Amen.
(Common Prayer for Children and Families)

The Serenity Prayer, a prayer that has guided many through times of trial
In English:

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
(Reinhold Niebuhr)

In Spanish:

Dios, concédeme la serenidad para aceptar las cosas que no puedo cambiar, el valor para cambiar las cosas que puedo cambiar y la sabiduría para conocer la diferencia;
viviendo un día a la vez, disfrutando un momento a la vez;
aceptando las adversidades como un camino hacia la paz;
pidiendo, como lo hizo Dios, en este mundo pecador tal y como es, y no como me gustaría que fuera;
creyendo que Tú harás que todas las cosas estén bien si yo me entrego a Tu voluntad;
de modo que pueda ser razonablemente feliz en esta vida e increíblemente feliz Contigo en la siguiente. Amen.

(Oración de la serenidad escrita por Reinhold Niebuhr)

The prayers and scripture that we provide here are meant to provide a starting point to support you in navigating the complexity of your grief. Different words, different prayers may serve and support us at various points in our journeys through grief and struggle. For example, while the Serenity Prayer has and continues to provide solace and strength to many for a myriad of reasons, academic and activist Angela Davis places this prayer in context of continued collective action toward civil rights when she says, ‘I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.’ We encourage you to engage with these or other prayers in ways that embrace complexity, making space for the fullness of feeling.

Meditations For Reflection And Stillness

Reaching a state of stillness is challenging during times of great uncertainty and loss. It can feel uncomfortable to intentionally sit with grief. But in order to process experiences of loss it may be helpful to spend some intentional time in reflection. Here we provide some methods of meditation that are guided, and may support your own reflective process. Key to these resources is attending to grief in a bounded time. In this way, you may be able to intentionally integrate stillness into your day. Intentionally carving out time to attend to your emotional state, setting a boundary to ground, can help you move through the rest of your day. We very much hope that the following examples are helpful.


Lectio Divina
Led by Student Program Fellow, Lara Glass MDiv ‘17, the following guided meditation is inspired by an ancient contemplative process from the Christian tradition, known as Lectio Divina. The purpose in this context is to provide a boundaried, focused opportunity to feel what is on your heart, to acknowledge it, to sit with it, and perhaps to put it down for a while. You may wish to have a paper and pen nearby, though it is not necessary. This model can be used as you approach scripture, poetry, short readings, etc. (Meditation Transcript)

 

Guided Meditation: Daily Examen
Led by Ministry Fellow, the Rev. Wes Conn, this is a guided meditation based on the Daily Examen, a reflective spiritual practice developed by Saint Ignatius of Loyola to discern God’s hand at work in the breadth of our experiences. The meditation below is an abridged version of the Daily Examen designed to be done at the end of a day. (Meditattion Transcript)

 

Brief grounding meditation: What can I see, hear and touch?
Led by Ministry Fellow, the Rev. Wes Conn, this short meditation is helpful when feelings become overwhelming. (Meditation Transcript)

 

Additional Resources for Practicing Meditation and Stillness

● The Harvard University Center for Wellness and Health Promotion is providing a variety of virtual mindfulness offerings.

East Bay Meditation was “founded to provide a welcoming environment for people of color, members of the LGBTQI community, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented communities.” Their programs include meditation classes, daylong retreats, workshops, and classes.

●  Guided meditation on grief by Joan Halifax meditation from On Being to help focus on the depth of grief.

You Good Sis is a collective for black and brown women looking for a mental, spiritual and physical check-in. "We strive to define and create a specific space dedicated to the wellbeing of women of color.” You can learn more about their other offerings here.

● Biblical and Theological Resources & Spiritual Practices for Ambiguous Loss provides a variety of different exercises as you move through this particular form of loss. You may find more information about ambiguous loss and resources in the tab Greater Boston and National Resources

Activities For Processing

Below are some suggested processing activities involving movement of body and mind. These tactile and vocal exercises may open your consciousness to different insights, which can be helpful in allowing complicated feelings to settle. Each activity is designed to be both a grounding and nourishing experience.

Guiding questions:

● Before you begin, take a moment to acknowledge what may be in your heart and on your mind.

● As you move through the activity, notice what thoughts and feelings rise to the surface. How does your body feel?

● Does the activity open a new window into your experience?

● Take notice of how do you feel as you finish up the activity.

Coloring
Coloring is an activity giving our minds time to focus and create space to think differently about how we are feeling. If you have access to coloring pages, try this activity with the images you already have. If not, below are links to coloring pages.

Owl

Sandcastle

Mandala

Flower heart

Journaling
Journaling prompts for guiding your thoughts are below. Choose a phrase to expand or a question to consider.

● I could use more…

● I am not ready to…

● Today, I found beauty…

● A memory I cherish is…

● It was hard today when…

● I found it helpful when…

● I am challenged when I feel…

● How are you feeling right now?

● Who has been on your mind today? Write them a brief note. (If you can’t give it to them, try going for a walk and burying it in a place where no one will find it.)

● Where do you experience grief in your body?

● Has your family or community taught you anything about grief? If so, what?

● What do you want God to know about you right now? Be honest, God can handle anything and everything we have to say.

● What do you wish someone would say to you?

● Who are you grieving? How do you hope to remember this person in the future?

Singing
Song gives voice to the complexities of emotions, and can help us embody our feelings. Singing songs steeped in a tradition connect us to our communities, families, and the Church. Here are a few that you might try singing or humming along to.

Amazing Grace

Precious Lord, Take My Hand

Abide With Me

Do It Again by Elevation Worship

Smile by Kirk Franklin

Hills and Valleys by Tauren Williams

Wrap Me in Your Arms by Freddy Rodríguez

I will run by Freddy Rodríguez

Break Every Chain by Tasha Cobbs

Overcomer by Mandisa

I am not Alone by Kari Jobe

The Story I’ll Tell (feat. Naomi Raine) by Maverick City Music

“In difficult times, we, Pentecostal and/or Charismatic worshippers, use a lot of prayers, songs, or Scripture as a source for solace and refuge. For us, the Bible is alive, and It has words of hope and comfort for any season in our lives, such as times of despair and uncertainty. Those resources give us comfort and strengthen us amid chaos. When we praise, we are acknowledging that God is bigger than whatever situation we are going through or facing. All those elements combined encourage us to stand up and to keep moving forward. Trusting God, even when we do not understand what we are going through because the universe is in His hand. We surrender the situation to Him, believing that, even in our deepest sorrow, pain, and loss, God knows what He is doing. For us, God is worthy of praise because whatever is happening, it is to develop endurance and for our spiritual development and growth. The overall purpose is to bring us closer to God, increasing our faith and trust in Him, believing that He will take us through because God is in control.”

-KMarie Tejeda, MDiv ‘20, Seminarian at the Memorial Church.

Asking for Help
It’s likely a friend or family member has said to you, “Call me if you need anything” or “Let me know how I can help.” Our friends and family members really do want to be helpful! However, when we are grieving it can be difficult to ask for help. How can you invite people to help you? Review the prompts below and imagine asking someone you know to assist you. Write their names beside a task.

Accompany me to the…

● Store

● Bank

● Physician

Please call the…

● Social Security office

● Church

● Therapist

● Financial advisor

You can help my family by…

● Cooking a meal

● Reading a story

● Driving

● Praying

I need help with these chores…

● Shopping

● Walking the dog

● Meals

● Yard work

● Correspondences

● House or pet sit

● Let me talk about...

Other Activities
Here are a few other things that can shift the way we are thinking about ourselves and our grief:

-Bake/cook

-Garden

-Take a walk

-Clean

-Dance

Harvard Student Resources

Below is a list of campus partner offices at Harvard that provide a range of support services for students. Particular programs and offerings may speak to your own unique needs during this time. We encourage you to explore the individual websites to learn more about the programs and resources available.

Harvard University Health Services Counseling and Mental Health Service provides a range of support programs, particularly in times of acute need. The office offers Workshops and groups as well as several Peer counseling spaces. You can learn more about the clinical team here.
Urgent Care:
Call (617) 495-2042 during business hours Monday-Friday.
Call (617) 495-5711 for after-hours urgent care.

The Harvard Chaplains are a professional community of more than thirty chaplains, representing many of the world’s religious, spiritual, and ethical traditions. They share a collective commitment to serving the spiritual needs of the students, faculty, and staff of Harvard University. The Harvard Chaplains are one of the University’s designated confidential resource by University Title IX Office.

The Harvard College Office of BGLTQ Student Life serves as a central resource for bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, queer, and questioning (BGLTQ) students at Harvard College. The office fosters the inclusion, affirmation, and celebration of all BGLTQ identities and expressions. “We strive to create a community where BGLTQ students can thrive and where all students are well-equipped to engage knowledgeably and compassionately with regard to gender and sexuality.”

The Harvard College Women’s Center’s mission is to promote gender equity by raising awareness of women’s and gender issues, developing women’s leadership, and celebrating women who challenge, motivate, and inspire.
"In alignment with these goals, we centralize resources and offer student-focused programming to strengthen individuals and student organizations. The Women’s Center is committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students that encourages dialogue and diversity.”

The Office of Diversity Education and Support works to cultivate a more inclusive College community, and enhance the personal growth of students by providing specialized training, consultation, and facilitated dialogue, and programming on issues related to identity, inclusion, and belonging.
“We further carry out the ideals of inclusion and belonging by providing one-to-one support to students from historically underrepresented or marginalized backgrounds.”

Harvard University’s Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response is a confidential space open to the entire Harvard community where people can process and understand their experiences and feel empowered to make the choice best suited to their needs. Every staff member is a certified rape-crisis counselor, committed to the just and compassionate treatment of survivors and their friends, peers, significant others, and allies.
“We foster collaborative relationships between campus and community systems to ensure a survivor-centered, multi-faceted approach to advocacy services and primary prevention.”

The Harvard University Center for Wellness and Health Promotion offers a wide range of workshops, services, and classes available to all Harvard community members, including many new virtual opportunities.

The Harvard College Dean of Students Office in partnership with students and colleagues,cultivates engagement, belonging, and respect; fosters an integrated living and learning community; and inspired self-discovery among Harvard College students.

The Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations works to improve relations among racial and ethnic groups within the University and to enhance the quality of our common life. In pursuit of this mission, the Foundation sponsors annual programs and activities that promote interracial and intercultural awareness and enhances the personal growth of students by providing specialized training, consultation, and facilitated dialogue on issues related to identity, inclusion, and belonging. We further carry out the ideals of inclusion and belonging by providing one-to-one support to students from historically underrepresented or marginalized backgrounds. To reach us, visit harvardfoundation.fas.harvard.edu or email us at harvfoun@fas.harvard.edu.

The Accessible Education Office for Harvard College is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community, which includes providing equal access to all students. The Accessible Education Office (AEO) determines accommodations for students with disabilities and ensures legal compliance with non-discrimination for students with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and The Americans with Disabilities Act (1990, and Amendments Act of 2008). AEO works in collaboration with Harvard faculty, students, and staff to create equitable educational experiences through the promotion of universal design in learning, reasonable accommodations in inaccessible environments, and the reframing of disability as a valued aspect of the human experience.

The Harvard Art Museums works to “bring to light the intrinsic power of art and promote critical looking and thinking for students, faculty, and the public.” Through research, teaching, professional training, and public education, the museums encourage close study of original works of art, enhance access to the collections, support the production of original scholarship, and foster university-wide collaboration across disciplines.

 

Greater Boston and National Resources

Sometimes seeking help from a resource focused on a particular type of loss, or a specific shared identity group is productive. The following list includes focused resources within and outside the Boston area. It may provide a starting point in navigating your own healing and coping process.

The Covid Grief Network provides short term grief support and builds long-term communities for young adults who are grieving in the midst of this pandemic.

East Bay Meditation was founded to provide a welcoming environment for people of color, members of the LGBTQI community, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented communities. Their programs include meditation classes, daylong retreats, workshops, and classes.

The Group Peer Support Group (PGS) approach is a trauma-responsive support group model based on evidence-informed modalities that has been replicated in diverse communities nationally. More information and their calendar of groups and other offerings can be found here.

The Loveland Foundation is committed to showing up for communities of color in unique and powerful ways, with a particular focus on Black women and girls. Resources and initiatives are collaborative, and they prioritize opportunity, access, validation, and healing. The foundation was founded by Rachel Cargle, a public academic, writer, and lecturer whose work is rooted in providing “intellectual discourse, tools, and resources that explore the intersection of race and womanhood.”

Network Care of Massachusetts is a directory of over 5,000 behavioral health programs and organizations across the Commonwealth, searchable by keyword and zip code.

Adrienne Maree Brown is a writer, social justice facilitator, pleasure activist, healer, and doula living in Detroit. Her website features reflections and information about her learn her books, articles, podcasts and other resources.

The Chaplaincy Innovation Lab supports chaplains in various settings to attend to the changing needs of communities in American religious and spiritual life. There are a variety of helpful resources both for spiritual life professionals and lay people surrounding grief on their website.

JRI houses over 100 diverse programs focused on the needs of underserved individuals, families and communities including the following:

First Connections equips parents with tools, practical strategies, and connections to other families and their communities to foster healthy parenting and guide them through the first years of the parenting journey. Their New Parents Programs are free for families with children birth to age 8 in the communities of Acton, Bedford, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Hanscom, AFB, Harvard, Lincoln, Maynard, Sudbury, and Westford.

Boston Trauma Response Team provides rapid crisis response to homicides affecting young people (ages 13-24), short-term case management, coping groups, and follow-up psychological first aid services.

Housing Programs

Parents Helping Parents of Massachusetts offers a variety of online support groups for parents and families.

The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition provides updated Covid-19 resources specifically catered to immigrants and refugees.

The National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN) is a “healing justice” organization that actively works to transform mental health for queer and trans people of color in North America. The organization develops capacity of QTPoC (queer and trans people of color) mental health practitioners, increases access to healing justice resources, and provids technical assistance to social justice movement organizations to integrate healing justice into their work. “Our overall goal is to increase access to healing justice resources for QTPoC.”

Pregnancy During the Pandemic is a free, virtual support group aimed to help pregnant women ease anxiety and build research-based coping skills.

Harvard Divinity School has created a curated list of supportive resources during times of grief and loss. We encourage you to explore these tools.

The Conversation Project is an organization devoted to facilitating end-of-life conversations.

Dr. Pauline Boss, educator and researcher, developed the study of Ambiguous Loss and provides strategies for tolerating this specific loss. Understanding and Help for Ambiguous Loss During the Ongoing Pandemic may help you to contextualize this loss for our current moment.

Covid-19 Conversations is a blog hosted by Harvard Chaplains Pat and Tammy McLeod where contributors are invited to share their experiences related to loss during the pandemic.

The Collective Psychology Project offers an essay on collective grieving amidst the pandemic.

You Good Sis is a collective for black and brown women looking for a mental, spiritual and physical check in. We strive to define and create a specific space dedicated to the wellbeing of women of color. They do so by offering a variety of wellness events as well as reflections through their blog.

Creighton University has organized a list of prayers and reflections on grief and loss specific to the Catholic tradition.

Bereavement Support Group an opportunity to meet others experiencing loss and grief, a program through Mt. Auburn Hospital.

The American Foundation for Sucide Prevention on Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty.

Massachusetts Suicide and Crisis Hotline provides crisis counselors on local and national hotlines.

Advance Care Planning refers to the process of sharing with your loved ones your values and desires as to your own end of life care. In order to ensure that a person’s wishes for future healthcare are known and respected, it is important to complete a “Health Care Proxy” – a written record of decisions made about future medical care. The following resources are all designed to support you and your loved ones in this process:

● The Massachusetts Government Office of Emergency Medical Services provides various resources on end of life care including advance care directives.

Massachusetts Health Care Proxy Information

NIH National Institute on Aging

The Conversation Project

Better Ending (includes translations of the Health Care Proxy form in Spanish and Vietnamese and audio files in English and Spanish)

Honoring Choices, Massachusetts

The Healing Ground Project was founded by HDS alumna and certified spiritual director Shrestha Singh. She is currently offering a Virtual South Asian Women’s Circle with other group healing opportunities upcoming including the following:

● Children of Immigrants Circle

● Immigrant Parents Circle

● Renewal Circle for Activists and Justice Workers

● Power and Privilege 101 circle

Resources for Children:

The Children’s Room provides supportive space for children and young people to grieve together. The organization is based in Arlington, Ma.

A list of resources compiled by PBS for teachers and parents to use when helping children grieve.

The National Alliance for Grieving Children offers support and a breadth of resources.

 

 

Extended Recommendations

Please find below some additional recommended resources. We hope they provide additional windows and perspectives into this work, supporting you and your loved ones.

Books:

There is No Good Card for This: What To Say and Do When Life is Scary, Awful, and Unfair To People You Love: Kelsey Crowe, Ph. D and Emily McDowell, illustrated by Emily McDowell — Sometimes friends and family don’t know what to say when we are grieving, and sometimes they unintentionally say things that are unhelpful. This book offers suggestions and tips for being helpful when something bad happens.

To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings: John O’Donohue — Irish teacher and poet, John O’Donohue, uses the Celtic tradition to give prayers for some of life’s biggest and hardest moments.

The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing: Edited by Kevin Young — Poet Kevin Young compiled this book of poems that embrace the pain and heartache of mourning.

Acts of Faith: Daily Meditations for People of Color by Iyanla Vanzant — In an updated and expanded 25th anniversary edition, Acts of Faith guides people of color with daily encouragement, comfort, and enlightenment. Each day of the year has a unique inspirational quote or message with it, along with a short essay to assist in reflection and wisdom.

Bodies of Truth: Personal Narratives on Illness, Disability, and Medicine by Dinty W. Moore, Erin Murphy, Renée Nicholson, and Jacek L. Mostwin — Using stories from doctors, nurses, patients, and children, this book employs a narrative approach to talk about health and healing.

Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds — by Adrienne Maree Brown: In the tradition of Octavia Butler, a radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help to shape the futures we want. Change is constant. The world, our bodies, and our minds are in a constant state of flux. They are a stream of ever-mutating, emergent patterns. Rather than steel ourselves against such change, Emergent Strategy teaches us to map and assess the swirling structures and to read them as they happen, all the better to shape that which ultimately shapes us, personally and politically.

Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom — This is Henri Nouwen’s journal where he wrote about one of his most difficult times in life.

Richard J. Foster, Prayers from the Heart — Minister, Richard Foster, shares a book of prayers that lead one to see God in our midst, evening in the mundane.

Terence Curley, Six Steps for Managing Loss: A Catholic Guide through Grief — Father Terence Curley shares one pathway for navigating loss.

Jacques Philippe, Interior Freedom — In this book, Father Jacques Philippe leads one to discover the resources already within us that provide strength.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants— Robin Wall Kimmerer: Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings―asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass―offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices.

Lorene Hanley Duquin, Grieving with the Help of Your Catholic Faith — Catholic author and lecturer, Lorene Duquin, shows how one’s faith can help us grieve.

Books for Children (valuable for adults too!):

The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr — Through the lens of a fish, Todd Parr helps us say goodbye.

Remembering My Grandparent: A Kid’s Own Grief Workbook in the Christian Tradition by Nechama Liss-Levinson and Molly Baskette — Pastor Molly Baskette and psychologist Nechama Liss-Levinson created this book full of activities for children to work through their grief.

Sad Book by Michael Rosen — Marketed as a children’s book, but really meant for everyone, this book confronts the many feelings we can experience when someone we love dies.

Help Me Say Goodbye: Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies by Janis Silverman — An art therapy book to help children coping with death.

A Little Blue Bottle by Jennifer Grant — This book helps children who are grieving articulate their loss and love.

Cry, Heart, But Never Break: Glenn Ringtved, Illustrated by Charlotte Pardi — A beautifully illustrated book on loss and life.