Books and Grieving

Long before my mom got sick and long before she died, I wrote a book with a character who was grieving. Reading it over while grieving myself I was sad at how accurately I had understood an emotion I'd never really experienced prior to writing it. And yet there were things I'd missed. My character had moved shortly after the death she dealt with and she never returned to visit the grave. I didn't find this realistic, because even though I know my mom isn't at her grave, when I first drove to see her there, I felt myself racing, as if when I got there, I'd see her. I say, I'm going to go and see my mom, when driving to visit her grave. I needed to add this in to my character's story.

There were books I'd read long before and shortly after losing my mom that have always stayed with me. My favorites are KISSING IN AMERICA and THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE.

Do you have others to suggest? 


Adrift after her sister Bailey's sudden death, Lennie finds herself torn between quiet, seductive Toby—Bailey's boyfriend who shares her grief—and Joe, the new boy in town who bursts with life and musical genius. Each offers Lennie something she desperately needs... though she knows if the two of them collide her whole world will explode.

Join Lennie on this heartbreaking and hilarious journey of profound sorrow and mad love, as she makes colossal mistakes and colossal discoveries, as she traipses through band rooms and forest bedrooms and ultimately right into your heart.

As much a celebration of love as a poignant portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often uproarious, and absolutely unforgettable.


Acclaimed writer Margo Rabb's Kissing in America is "a wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence, and the inner lives of girls," raves internationally bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love).

In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that's still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who understands Eva's grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head over heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the West Coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.
In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr calls "gorgeous, funny, and joyous," readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all its forms.