Grief books for widows, widowers and those who have lost a partner, spouse, fiance, boyfriend or girlfriend

On this page we recommend some of the best books on grief and loss for widows or widowers and those who have lost a partner, but they will be of help to anyone suffering the loss of a loved one.  

Often they are written by men or women while they were living through the pain and confusion of grief.  But we will only recommend those books we feel are positive and will help with your journey along the pathways of grief.


Companion through the Darkness – Inner dialogues on grief, Stephanie Ericsson

One of the best books exploring the feelings and experiences of grief is by Stephanie Ericsson who lost her husband suddenly when she was pregnant with their first child.

“Companion through the Darkness” is the only book recommended by the specialist widows website.  This is no surprise, as it is such a beautifully expressed diary of many of the taboo feelings that those experiencing grief find it hard to talk about.  Many of the subjects explored will be relevant to you whether you have lost a partner or any other family member or friend.   Stephanie doesn’t shy away from the pain of grief, but shows how she works through her feelings to come out finally with a positive outlook for the future.


Widows Wear Stilettos: A Practical and Emotional Guide for the Young Widow
by Carole Brody Fleet and Syd Harriet

This book is what is says in the title.  Aimed at younger widows, it doesn't shy away from humour and facing life head on.  It has mostly excellent reviews, though not everyone can appreciate Carole Brody Fleet's sense of humour and style. 

From a practical point of view it is full of useful information, and it is an easy read.  Have a look inside the book by clicking on the image, and make up your own mind.  You can read several pages of the book before deciding to buy, and you can soon see whether you like the style.  Probably not a book for the boys though! 


The Young Widow’s Book of Home Improvement by Virginia Lloyd

“in attempting to write about grief, and about love, I suspect some experiences are beyond language”

Written by a woman who loses her husband of less than a year to bone cancer, this book tells of their journey through his disease. She writes about their feelings, hopes and fears, as well as the joy they shared as newly weds and how they managed to deal with the loss. She describes coping with the knowledge that he was going to die and how she lived through his death and her grief. Virginia Lloyd and her husband John come across as an extremely brave couple who made the most of every day that their short marriage gave them. Although at times excruciatingly painful, both emotionally and physically, they managed to find much beauty, humour and love in their short time together

The home improvement in the title refers to the fact that Virginia was left with a home falling apart with rising damp when her husband died. They hadn’t had the chance to tackle it while he was still alive due to the daily demands of coping with his disabilities. Virginia throws herself into saving her home as her way of surviving her grief and keeping herself occupied. She finds comfort in colour, and music and art.

Sometimes it is risky to read of other people’s grief when coping with your own, but this book doesn’t wallow in self-pity. It is uplifting at times and beautifully expressed, but it is also realistic, down to earth and has lots of practical ideas for how to deal with the loss of a husband or indeed any loved one.

It may help some people to feel that they are not alone, and that someone else has been through a similar experience.


A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis

These words about this classic grief book were sent to us by Elaine Mansfield  (Burdett, NY USA)

"This memoir was first published in 1961. There's a reason it's still available. Lewis did not tell me how to get my act together in a practical sense. Instead, he helped me open my eyes in the new untethered world where I found myself. He helped me feel the terrain and depth of my grief. His reflections normalized my experience and helped me find meaning.

The book was written after his wife's death as a way of surviving the madness he felt when his faith was shaken to the core. A Grief Observed is an honest, deeply moving inward search for understanding and hope.


Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey Through Grief by Elaine Mansfield

Elaine Mansfield, who wrote the comments about the book above, has written her own book about her journey after losing her beloved husband.  We have been reading Elaine's articles and blog for a long time, and we are always touched by the way she finds beauty in tragedy and in everything around her. 

Elaine is definitely an inspirational writer who really gets to the heart of grief, what it means and how it helps us to grow.  Click on the book to read the wonderful reviews this book has received.  


Listen for the Whispers by Kim Kluxen Meredith

Learning to cope with tragedy while at the same time bringing up her two young children, Kim K Meredith brings a strength of character and hope to her grief from which we can all learn.  

What we like about this book is that she doesn't stop with just telling her story, but adds chapters at the end giving advice which is easy to follow, practical and very helpful.  The imagery of the whispers chimes well with the idea of grieving mindfully rather than closing off one's mind to avoid facing painful emotions.  Kim's warmth, compassion and positivity are a great help to those facing their own journey to creating a new life worth living after loss.  


Loving Grief by Paul Bennett

This is an inspirational book written from the heart, following the death of a much loved wife Bonnie.  In it Paul Bennett takes us along his overwhelming pathways of sadness after his loved one died.  He describes how grief is the other side of love, how exhausting our daily routines become following a loss and his eventual walk along new pathways to peace.

Anyone suffering loss will find solace in these pages.  You will weep with him but also find comfort and a reason to go on.  A superbly written book.


Do you have a book on grief to recommend?

If you have read a book which has given you comfort or helped you in your grief, we'd love to hear about it. If it was specially for those who have lost a partner or spouse why not tell us about it here? If it's a different kind of grief book, see our other pages of grief books for the right section. Don't forget to give us the full title and author of the book and tell us why you found it useful. Many thanks for sharing with us.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion 
Joan Didion describes with piercing clarity the trauma of sudden loss and the shock that comes with it. She is an amazing writer and this is one of her …

Learning to Laugh When You Feel Like Crying: Embracing Life After Loss 
When I was grieving from the loss of my wife, I found that grief books often told about all the negative things I might experience. It was not something …

Click here to write your own.


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Self-Help Hypnosis Downloads

Try a gentle hypnotherapy track to relax the mind and help you cope with your grief. We recommend Hypnosis Downloads which have been created especially for those who are grieving by qualified specialists in medical hypnotherapy.

Choose from this list of grief and loss tracks for your specific type of loss.  


Memorial Magnolia Tree

The Magnolia is one of the earth's oldest plants, with a spectacular flower which dates back 95 million years.  What a beautiful specimen to commemorate a life. 

These trees are grown by the foremost magnolia nursery in the country and they will send a variety most suited to the recipient's climate. 

The flowers in spring will bring joy to the bereaved and help to heal their heart.


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