Books Dealing with Loss, Grief, Funeral Services / Memorial Services, Life Celebrations and Other End of Life Issues and Decisions

If you’re searching for any of these books, we encourage you to also look at the content on our site and buy our book. There is valuable content, in the book, that is not shown on this site or in any of the books shown here.  In the Store section of our website we have begun to add links to Amazon for many of these and other “Books and Products We Like”.  If you know of others we should include, please let us know.

About Dying
by Sarah Stein 1976

 Advice on Dying – the Dalai Lama
Atria Books, 2002

A Pillow for My Mom
by Charissa Sgouros. Houghton Mifflin, 1998

A Story for Hippo: A Book About Loss
by Simon Puttock. Scholastic Press, 2001

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End  by Dr. Atul Gawande
In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending

Can’t We Talk About Something More PLEASANT?
A humorous and poignant color illustrated memoir by New Yorker magazine cartoonist by Roz Chast
Bloomsbury 2014 Stories about being with her elderly and declining parents.

Caring for Your Own Dead
by Lisa Carlson, 1987

Caring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love
by Lisa Carlson, 1998

 Concerning Death:
Practical Guide for the Living
by Earl Grollman 1974

Creating Meaningful Funeral Experiences:
A Guide for Caregivers  by Dr. Alan Wolfelt 2003

Daddy, This is it – Being with My Dying Dad
by Julie Saeger Nierenberg
This short book is a role model of what is possible in creating meaningful and heartfelt communications and closure at the end of life. We recommend it

Dying to Know – Straight Talk About Death and Dying
By Tani Bahti – RN  CT  CHPN
This is a book written directly to the person who is facing the end of his/her life. Using frank talk about the physical changes, family dynamics, decision-making, communication, closure and the mystery of dying, it serves to provide comfort and understanding for the patient and family alike. (100 pages)

Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death
by Lisa Carlson and Joshua Slocum, 2011

Flamingo Dream
by Donna J. Napoli. Greenwillow, 2002

Grave Maters
by Mark Harris
Grave Matters follows a dozen families who found in “green” burial a more natural, more economic and ultimately more meaningful alternative to the tired and toxic send-off on offer at the local funeral parlor. with a blog and website

Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness
Joanne Lynn, MD and Joan Harrold, MD. Oxford University Press, 1999

How to Plan a Celebration of Life Memorial Instead of a Funeral: A Practical, Step-by-Step Guide to Planning A Respectful and Loving Memorial Service  by Norma Smith Davis

I Died Laughing: Funeral Education with a Light Touch
by Lisa Carlson, 2001


Is Daddy Coming Back in a Minute?
An illustrated book for and about helping very young children deal with sudden death and explaining it to them.
by Elke Barber, 2013

It’s OK to Die
by Dr. Monica Williams-Murphy MD
“It’s OK to Die” is a compelling look at American end-of-life choices through the eyes of an Emergency Physician and her husband.

I’m Dying to Talk with You: Twenty-Five Years of Conversations on End of Life Decisions
by Dave Kampfschulte, 2012
I’m Dying to Talk with You is a look into the conversations and interactions that Dave has experienced in his 25 years as a hospice volunteer. In its pages, you will encounter unexpected insights on a subject that is usually avoided at all costs and a glimpse into the grace and courage that is demonstrated by hospice patients as they approach the end of their lives. Written with a mixture of humor and tears, this book is an invaluable resource and is destined to be pulled from the shelves time and time again as your loved ones reach this defining moment in life.  See an interview with Dave Kampfschulte about his book

No One Has to Die Alone:
Preparing for a Meaningful Death

by Lani Leary PhD   Lani has over 25 years of experience working with chronically ill, dying, and bereaved clients. She served as the director of mental health services at Whitman Walker AIDS clinic, as a professor of Death Studies at George Mason University, and as a researcher at the National Cancer Institute of NIH. Lani also garners wisdom from her personal experience—her mother’s death when she was a child, her father’s death from cancer, her own profound near-death experience—and has sat with over 500 people as they died. DrLani We recommend this book.  Watch her Honolulu Ted talk video. It will change the way you help others through the inevitable process and the way you live your life.;search%3AlANI%20Leary

ObitKit is a workbook to let your family know how you’d like to be remembered – in your obituary and for generations to come
ObitKit is a GUIDE: Let your loved ones know your final wishes and what sort of send-off you’d like.  Susan Sober

Peace at the Last: Leading Funerals Well
by Vicar Robert Atwell
Canteberry Press  2014 UK

Remembering Well – Rituals for Celebrating Life and Mourning Death
by Sarah York – retired Unitarian minister.  Remembering Well offers family members, clergy, funeral professionals, and hospice workers ways to plan services and rituals that honor the spirit of the deceased and are faithful to that person’s values and beliefs, while also respecting the needs and wishes of those who will attAnd the services. It is an essential resource for anyone who yearns to put death in a spiritual context but is unsure how to do so-including both those who have broken with tradition and those who wish to give new meaning to the time-honored rituals of their faith.  The invaluable insights offered here will help those who grieve to prepare mind and spirit for life’s final rites of passage.
Library 291.38 First edition – Second revised edition is available on We recommend it.

Staying in Charge
by Karen Orloff Kaplan. John Wiley & Sons, 2004

The Humanist and Non-Religious Celebrant Handbook  2015
Han Hills – A howto book for celebrants creating a celebrant business Wilmington NC

The Last Lecture
by Randy Pausch & Jeffrey Zaslow, Hyperion, 2008

The Party of Your Life: Get the Funeral You Want by Planning It Yourself
by Erica Dillman
Gloomy funerals are out: personalized life celebrations rule the day. Your memorial event can be a colorful, festive occasion; a simple, family-directed farewell in the comfort of your own home; a weekend-long funeralpalooza; or any type of goodbye gala you want.

We need to talk about the Funeral, 101 Practical Ways to Commemorate and Celebrate a Life
by Jane Morrell & Simon Smith

What Dying People Want: Practical Wisdom for the End of Life
by David Kuhl, MD. PublicAffairs, 2002

What to Say to a Friend Who’s Sick
by Letty Cottin Pogrebin, 2013
During her recent bout with breast cancer, celebrated author Letty Cottin Pogrebin became intrigued by her friends’ and family’s diverse reactions to her and her diagnosis: how awkwardly some of them behaved; how they misspoke or misinterpreted her needs; and how wonderful it was when people read her right. She began talking to her fellow patients at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as well as dozens of other veterans of serious illness and chronic conditions, seeking to discover what they wished their friends knew about how to comfort, help, and even just talk to them without making them feel different or doomed.

When the Sun Goes Down, A Serendipitous Guide To Planning Your own Funeral
by Betty Breuhaus, 2007

When You Know You’re Dying
by James Miller. Willowgreen Publishing, 1997

If you are searching for any of these books, we encourage you look at the content on our site and buy our book. There is valuable content in our book that is not shown on this site.   Dave Savage and Beverly Molander