Let me start by saying the list below is not what you would expect. 

I am not a conventional grief expert. 

I wrote both of my books Second Firsts and Where Did You Go? seeking to find a voice that resonated with my kind of broken heart. 

The kind that needed answers. And a plan. 

I could not relate to the words that were shared in traditional grief books. 

Words like bereavement. Grief. Widow. 

These words made me want to bury myself under the covers and never come out. 

They made me even more nauseous than my broken heart did. 

Some were helpful at first in regards to knowing that I was not the only one feeling insanity after loss. 

For example Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking made me cry and connect with a part of my broken heart that I thought was forever lost. 

Also A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis 

Another favorite was What Remains by Carole Radziwill 

Of course Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom was so special. 

Then years later books started to become real, honest and I fell in love with When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi. 

And a few others that I share on this list. 

This list is here to help you find your way into a new chapter of life after a devastating loss such as a loss from death, a divorce, a break up. A job loss. A career loss. 

And any invisible loss that you may be experiencing. 

Grief is complex and long lasting and our society has failed to understand what is required for us to not only heal but really find our way to fully living again. (Click to tweet!)

The books below range from spirituality, health, brain science as well as physics. Understanding our universe, and figuring things out for ourselves is a key ingredient to mending our broken heart.

We have to advance our education of ourselves and the world around us if we want to redefine who we are after loss. 

Some of these books you have heard of before and some will be completely new. 

Enjoy them. 

 

The Physics of the Soul 

– Amit Goswami 

The Quantum Book of Living, Dying, Reincarnation, and Immortality

This book integrates science, spirituality and consciousness to describe concepts such as the afterlife and reincarnation. 

I believe that the truth is multidimensional and requires knowledge from many old and new concepts. 

We need to immerse ourselves in this integration of mythical and modern truths. 

 

Mysticism and the New Physics 

-Michael Talbot 

Mystics have long held that the physical world is an illusion. This book shows how quantum physics is putting forward ideas that confirm this perception. “We are not born into the world. We are born into something that we make into the world.” 

After loss we seek to understand where we came from, where we are and where we go when we die. We deserve to know the truth. 

 

The Holographic Universe 

-Michael Talbot 

Two of the world’s most eminent thinkers believe that the universe itself may be a giant hologram, quite literally a kind of image or construct created, at least in part, by the human mind. 

Their theory explains not only many of the unsolved puzzles of physics but also such mysterious occurrences as telepathy, out-of-body and near-death experiences, “lucid” dreams, and even religious and mystical experiences such as feelings of cosmic unity and miraculous healings.

Read this book slowly and learn everything you need to know about our reality. I have multiple copies in my home and it was one of the inspirations for my book Where Did You Go? 

 

Beyond Biocentrism

Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death 

-Robert Lanza 

Read it slowly and take it all in. 

“I am reality without beginning. 

I have no part in the illusion of ‘I’ and ‘you,’ ‘this’ and ‘that.’

I am one without a second, bliss without end, the unchanging, eternal truth. 

I dwell within all beings as the pure consciousness, the ground of all phenomena, internal and external. I am both the enjoyer and that which is enjoyed. In the days of my ignorance, I used to think of these as being separate from myself. Now I know that I am all.” 

 

Many Lives, Many Masters

The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives

-Brian L. Weiss

When you read this book you will be transported to the author’s private office and you will feel a part of his sessions with his patient. You will believe in an endless and continuous life for us all. 

“We must accept what comes to us at a given time, and not ask for more. 

But life is endless, so we never die; we were never really born. 

We just pass through different phases. 

There is no end. 

Humans have many dimensions. 

But time is not as we see time, but rather in lessons that are learned.” 

 

The Risen 

Dialogues of Love, Grief & Survival Beyond Death 

-August Goforth, Timothy Gray 

I am surprised this book is not more well known. I believe that all of us can connect with the consciousness of our loved one. And one day many years from now this will be the norm. 

“The primary message of this book is “there is no death.” The primary means by which this is accomplished is through the gradual raising of the reader’s vibration, towards making contact with their own Risen loved ones. It takes trust, curiosity and time to read this book – and you will be glad you did.” 

 

Dying To Be Me

My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing

-Anita Moorjani 

In this truly inspirational memoir, Anita Moorjani relates how, after fighting cancer for almost four years, her body began shutting down—overwhelmed by the malignant cells spreading throughout her system. As her organs failed, she entered into an extraordinary near-death experience where she realized her inherent worth and the actual cause of her disease. Upon regaining consciousness, Anita found that her condition had improved so rapidly that she was released from the hospital within weeks—without a trace of cancer in her body! 

 

Proof of Heaven

A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife

-Dr. Eben Alexander 

Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.

Then, Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion—and in essence makes us human—shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back.

 

Creative Visualization

Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life

-Shakti Gawain

After loss we have to learn how to visualize the new life. The new self. The new identity. The new existence. Nothing is the same anymore. This book is a classic. Buy the workbook of it too. Work your way through the pages. And create yourself. 

“When it comes to creating the life you want, Shakti Gawain literally wrote the book. Now considered a classic, Creative Visualization teaches readers how to use their imaginations to manifest their deepest desires.”

 

The Artist’s Way 

A spiritual Path to Higher Creativity 

-Julia Cameron 

Julia teaches us to write our morning pages. And she is such a good teacher of creativity. After loss we need to engage in our creativity to heal. Without it we would be lost in the waiting room of grief forever. 

“In times of pain, when the future is too terrifying to contemplate and the past too painful to remember, I have learned to pay attention to right now. The precise moment I was in was always the only safe place for me.” 

 

The Soul of Money

Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life

Lynn Twist

Oh dear money, you give us so much more grief after loss. 

And this is why I share this book as a foundation for those who are grieving. 

We must shift our point of view of money especially when we had to overcome a tragedy. 

We have so much to learn here. I am such a student of what it means to understand the energy of money. I have a long way to go but this book is a good start. I have also seen Lynn Twist speak live at a conference in 2010 and she is mesmerizing. 

“I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to learn to solve. 

I asked for prosperity and God gave me a brain and brawn to work. 

I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome. 

I asked for love and God gave me people to help. 

I asked for favours and God gave me opportunities. 

I received nothing I wanted. I received everything I needed.” 

 

The Art of Money 

A Life-Changing Guide to Financial Happiness

-Bari Tessler 

Bari has spent over two decades teaching her class The Art of Money with thousands of students across the globe. I hope this book gives you practical advice and tools to use in your everyday life after loss. “Enough” isn’t out there; it’s a relationship to what you already have. Unless you work on that first (or simultaneously with how you’re making money), you will never feel like you have enough, and you will always feel poor.

 

Healthy Healing

A Guide to Working Out Grief Using the Power of Exercise and Endorphins 

-Michelle Steinke-Baumgard 

Instead of helping in the aftermath of loss, many of the books and strategies meant to guide us through grief only add to the sadness. No one understands the need for a new approach more than Michelle Steinke-Baumgard, who lost her husband in a tragic plane accident and became a widow overnight. In the darkest moment of her life, the mother of two young children found solace and hope in the unlikeliest of places: exercise. She recorded her journey in her blog, One Fit Widow, and soon had a huge community of devoted followers. Now, Michelle offers her revolutionary solution to grief to everyone struggling with their own loss.

 

Ultimate Veg

Easy & Delicious Meals for Everyone

-Jamie Oliver 

As some of you know I believe in a vegan lifestyle. I know this is not for everyone. But if you wanted to cook a veggie meal once or twice a week I hope you grab this book. When my hubby was diagnosed with colon cancer he became vegan within that first week. We need to be healthy and strong in our life after loss. 

 

The OMD Plan

Swap one meal a day to save your health and save the planet 

-Suzy Amis Cameron 

“With OMD, I never, ever want to guilt you into changing your behavior. We all know that “guilt” or “should” or “being right” doesn’t fuel meaningful and sustained change. My goal is to share how easy, fun, delicious, energizing, and gratifying plant-based eating can be. I also want to acknowledge that it can be seriously hard to change the way you’re used to eating, shopping, and cooking, so I want to help you gracefully handle the challenges of incorporating more plant-based meals into your life.”

 

From Heartbreak to Wholeness

The Hero’s Journey to Joy 

-Kristine Carlson 

A guidebook for discovering how heartbreak can become the doorway to profound meaning and joy from the bestselling co-creator of the Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Series.

In 2006, after building the bestselling franchise Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff with her husband Richard, Kristine Carlson faced a shattering loss―the sudden death of her beloved spouse. Woven together with the remarkable stories of others’ loss and recovery, her deeply moving story reveals a clear process of healing that is common to everyone and goes far beyond ordinary prescriptions for getting through hard times. In her new book, From Heartbreak to Wholeness, Kristine offers a life-altering map for navigating the heroic journey from loss to joy―one that ultimately awakens readers to a deep love affair with life.

 

The Hot Young Widows Club

Lessons on Survival from the Front Lines of Grief

-Nora McInerny 

The Hot Young Widows Club isn’t just for people who have lost a spouse, but an essential tool for anyone who has gone through a major life struggle. Based on her own experiences and those of the listeners dedicated to her podcast, Terrible, Thanks for Asking, Nora offers wise, heartfelt, and often humorous advice to anyone navigating a painful period in their lives. Full of practical guidance, Nora also reminds us that it’s still okay to laugh, despite your deep grief. She explores how readers can educate the people around them on what to do, what to say, and how to best to lend their support. Ultimately, this book is a space for people to recognize that they aren’t alone, and to learn how to get through life’s hardest moments with grace and humor, and even hope.

 

Setting Boundaries Will Set You Free

The Ultimate Guide to Telling the Truth, Creating Connection, and Finding Freedom

-Nancy Levin 

When we are immersed in grief, our boundaries become gray. This book is a must if you feel like you are living life for others. Our family and friends feel like they have a say in regards to the choices we make after loss. They don’t. 

“This book includes exercises and practical tools to help even the most conflict-averse, people-pleasing readers learn new habits. You’ll learn how to recognize and take inventory of your boundaries, view your boundaries differently by creating a Boundary Pyramid, learn how to say “no” effectively, and set your Bottom-Line Boundary.”

 

Do Less

A Revolutionary Approach to Time and Energy Management for Ambitious Women 

-Kate Northrup 

When it comes to grief we try to run so far away from feeling pain that we end up working hard for years. We do a lot so we don’t have to feel. It took me a whole decade to learn this lesson. Kate, finds the words we need to hear to convince us that doing too much is insanity. Her book is geared towards mothers and I hope if you are a mother who lost her spouse through death or divorce and you are doing too much, to grab this book. I believe with all of my heart that when we do less we have time to heal. We have time to redefine ourselves. 

 

Soulful Simplicity

How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More 

-Courtney Carver

After loss we need to find a way to simplify our lives as grief has made it all so complicated. We need to lighten the load. Courtney is truly amazing at this. She shows us the power of simplicity to improve our health, build more meaningful relationships, and relieve stress in our professional and personal lives.

We are often on a quest for more—we give in to pressure every day to work more, own more, and do more. For Carver, this constant striving had to come to a stop when she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Stress was like gasoline on the fire of symptoms, and it became clear that she needed to root out the physical and psychological clutter that were the source of her debt and discontent. 

 

Tiny Beautiful Things

Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

-Cheryl Strayed 

I am sure you know the bestselling author Cheryl Strayed from her book Wild which was also made into a movie. But Tiny Beautiful things is my favorite. Cheryl is the real deal. I have watched her climb, from a writer with no money to pay her bills to a famous author. Her voice has stayed the same. Passionate. Raw. And always telling the truth. Grab this book and put it next to your bed.

 

I have many more books to share with you but this list should keep you going for a while. Remember, grief needs to lead us to a new life, a new identity and a new chapter. If it doesn’t, we stay in what I call the Waiting Room and that is not a place to live fully or die. (Click to tweet!)

Until next time,

Christina 

PS. If you want to receive this letter in your inbox every Friday you can subscribe here: www.christinarasmussen.com/miab

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