Grieving is tough—very tough. To get through, I relied on friends, family, professionals and a wide variety of resources. Some of the many print and website resources that were helpful to me are listed below. I hope you find them valuable too.
The Compassionate Friends
Supporting Family After a Child Dies
Through a network of more than 650 chapters with locations in all 50 states, as well as Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam, The Compassionate Friends has been supporting bereaved families after the death of a child. I am a member of this volunteer organization and attend their annual conference.
Precious Child – A song about the Loss of a Child
Music and vocals by Karen Taylor-Good
This beautiful song sheds light on the pain of losing a child but also speaks of hope.
When the Bough Breaks: Forever After the Death of a Son or Daughter by Judith Bernstein
I found this book offers a clear psychological perspective on the grief from losing of a child. Amazon.com explains, “Excerpts from interviews with 50 parents who lost a child from five to forty-five trace the road from utter devastation to a revised view of life, resulting in a work that is a tribute to resilience and the indomitable human spirit.”
Solon and Liam Bailey Memorial Website
Chris established this website in the boy’s memory in response to the outpouring of support we received as a tribute to their lives. Solon and Liam Bailey
Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman
Here are thoughtful words to inspire, comfort and give strength. The book contains a page of daily meditation for each day of the year and I read the meditations faithfully the year after Solon and Liam died.
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’Donohue
I loved this book because it helped me to think of Solon and Liam’s lives as eternal and continually connected with mine.
To Bless the Space Between Us by John O-Donohue
My favorite blessing in this book of blessings is the blessing For a Parent on the Death of a Child. It is moving and hopeful for me. The book contains blessings for many different life events.
New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton
I found the writings of Thomas Merton extremely helpful. Reading Merton nurtured for me some deeply contemplative thoughts as I processed my loss. Of the Merton books I read, this is my favorite.
Awareness: The Perils and Opportunitites of Reality by Anthony deMello
This book helped me explore my most disturbing feelings, accept them and not let them take over my life.
Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff
The author’s son died when 25 years old in a mountain climbing accident. Wolterstorff writes his way through the pain of grief. It is raw, but moving. This man’s first person account can be a helpful resource for men dealing with this loss.
Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen
A picture book meant for all ages, this book validates and affirms the bereaved, and helps educate the unbereaved about what the grief experience looks and feels like. I received 3 copies of this book from friends and family who wished to help, and it did.
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Paterson crafted this best-selling children’s story following the sudden death of her young son’s childhood friend. It is a moving story about loss and grief, and helped me believe that writing could help me process my pain.
The Lovely Bones – a book by Alice Sebold
I read The Lovely Bones before Solon and Liam’s deaths. It surprised me that this fictional book helped me picture my sons alive in an afterlife, watching over Chris and me and traveling to and from earth.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
A Grief Observed by C.S Lewis
Both of these memoires of life and loss were moving and helpful in my early grieving.