There are thousands of books, movies and arts about loss. There are how-to's, books of quotes, books to write in; movies that make you cry, laugh, scream...These resources are just a few that Cheryl has found helpful at certain points to open up the emotional experience of grief. If they don't help, discard them. Generally, books are less useful right after a loss because they require a level of concentration you may not have available. If you're not someone for whom reading is already a comfort, then a book may not be of any use at all. Even if reading works for you usually, now may not be one of those times. Sometimes it can be a comfort just to hear another person express what you're feeling. All these resources will be most useful at a time like that. You may not be drawn to any outside resource for a long time after you've suffered a deep loss, or you may be looking everywhere to find your experience named. Sometimes watching a movie might allow you to just relax and experience what is touched off. Follow your own instincts. There is no rule! Just be gentle with yourself.
Being There for Someone in Grief, Marriana Cacciatore: A beautiful book that weaves the author's personal experience with grief and what she has learned working with grieving children.
Companion Through the Darkness: Inner Dialogues on Grief, Stephanie Ericsson: A deeply personal book written by a wife after the loss of her husband. Many of her feelings hold true for any deep loss.
In the Midst of Winter, edited by Mary Jane Moffat: A book of quotes by writers in the midst of grief. The expressions are as varied as the writers themselves, offering the possibility of finding someone who speaks for you.
Transcending Loss: Understanding the Lifelong Impact of Grief and How to Make it Meaningful, Ashley Davis Prend, A.C.S.W: One of the better books about the stages of grief. May not be useful right after a significant loss.
When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Harold S. Kushner: Useful if you're feeling guilty, punished by God, or wondering how God could let something like this happen. Especially useful if you've been feeling that way for a long time.
Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal, Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D: Although this book is not just about losses through death, it is about how to live with all the challenging expereinces that come our way in a lifetime. Dr. Remen is a founder of Commonweal, a center for addressing the emotional needs of people with life-threatening illness.
Who Dies and Healing into Life and Death, Stephen Levine: Stephen Levine has worked with dying people now for several decades. His practices can be very effective in moving through our pain into our growth.
Unstrung Heroes: This is a movie about a family in which the mother is dying. It is effective to a large degree because it takes the point of view of one of the children in the family, trying to cope with parents who don't want to face what is going on.
Truly, Madly, Deeply: What would happen if the one we loved came back to help us move on with our lives? This is a touching, moving, eccentric and authentic movie about that preposterous idea.
Terms of Endearment: A classic movie about preparing to face a loss.
Beaches: Another classic movie about preparing to face a loss.
Whale Rider: A young girl whose mother died in childbirth finds the courage to meet her destiny and heals her family and community in the process.
Moonlight Mile: A movie that captures the feelings, coping attempts and honest experiences of grief. Its approach is honest and doesn't rush too fast towards redemption.
Signs: A horror movie? Yes, about a family, particularly one man, unable to heal after a terrible loss and the supernatural events that conspire to renew his faith in life.