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Five book recommendations on dying, death and grief

This Dying Matter’s Awareness Week, we’re shining a spotlight on some authors that challenge preconceptions and normalise talking about death, dying and bereavement with these 5 book recommendations.

‘We All Know How This Ends’ – Anna Lyons and Louise Winter

End-of-life doula, Anna Lyons and progressive funeral director, Louise Winter, teach us how and why we all need to think about death in a radically different way.

In their ground-breaking book, the authors share a collection of the heart-breaking, surprising and uplifting stories of the ordinary and extraordinary lives they encounter every single day. From working with the living, the dying, the dead and the grieving, Anna and Louise share the lessons they have learned about life, death, love and loss. And from their experience, they have suggestions of how we should address death differently, both on a personal level and a societal level. The changes they suggest are simple, but they could make a remarkable difference to our experiences of death, grief and beyond.

‘Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving’ – Julia Samuel

A compassionate guide that will support, inform and engage anyone who is grieving.

Death is the last taboo in our society, and grief is still profoundly misunderstood. Many of us feel awkward and uncertain around death, and shy away from talking honestly about it. The aim of this book is to address the fear that surrounds death and grief and to replace it with confidence.

‘In Search of You: letters to a daughter’ – Patsy Freeman

Patsy is a psychologist and grief counsellor. Her book, ‘In search of you’ is a compilation of letters to her daughter who died in 2013. Heart-rending and raw, Patsy describes the shock of bereavement, her grief and guilt, and the confidence she now enjoys in a life after loss.

‘It’s OK that you’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand’ – Megan Divine

When a painful loss or life-shattering event upends your world, this book wants you to know: there is nothing wrong with grief. So, why does our culture treat grief like a disease to be cured as quickly as possible?

This book offers a profound new approach to both the experience of grief and the way we try to help others who have endured tragedy.

‘Living Fully, Dying Consciously: the path to spiritual wellbeing’ – Sue Brayne

Everything changed for Sue 30 years ago, after surviving a light aircraft crash. In her book, Sue argues that confronting our fear of death and accepting our physical mortality helps us to create a more conscious way of living. This is essential for our spiritual wellbeing, for the wellbeing of the planet and for future generations. 

Have you read any of these? Please let us know your thoughts. Are there any other books that should be on our list? Don’t forget, you can catch Louise Winter, Patsy Freeman and Sue Brayne reading extracts from their books and answering your questions, at our free online event on Friday 14 May. Sign up here.

Book recommendations
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