21 Great Alan Wolfelt Books About Grief + Descriptions


If you recently lost a loved one, you may wonder if you have had an appropriate emotional response to your loved one's death.

Maybe you worry that you will never feel joy again. Perhaps your loved one died as the result of suicide or drug overdose and you don’t know how to cope with the additional stress that comes with such a death.

Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt, a grief counselor who serves as the director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition in Fort Collins, Colorado, remains a trusted source for journalists and national news agencies. 

Learn about several popular Alan Wolfelt books written on the subject, available on Amazon.

1. When Your Soulmate Dies: A Guide to Healing Through Heroic Mourning

You may feel as if life will never seem bearable again if you recently lost a long-term partner or spouse. Wolfelt writes about losing a soulmate in this book, published in 2016.

This book shares stories about others who lost spouses and will teach you how to honor your loved one as you learn to navigate your new reality.

» MORE: Honor a loved one with an online memorial. Create one for free with Cake.

2. Healing a Spouse’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Husband or Wife Dies

Are you looking for practical suggestions on how to continue living without the love of your life? Wolfelt gives compassionate, easily digestible advice in this book.

3. Understanding Your Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart

You can learn the difference between grief and mourning in this book by Wolfelt. He also explores the factors that cause each person to grieve differently. If you have worried about your emotional reaction to loss, Wolfelt addresses those concerns in this book.

4. Grief One Day at a Time: 365 Meditations to Help You Heal After Loss

Looking for a book about grief designed for you to read each day? Consider this selection. Wolfelt assigns a theme to each day and provides a soothing quote as well as thoughts to ponder about your own experience with loss.

5. Healing the Adult Child’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Parent Dies

As you can tell from some of the previous titles, Wolfelt gears many of his books to specific populations. This book, designed for adult children grieving the loss of a parent, encourages specific action items in this book, such as writing down your memories of your parent or completing a task or goal that your parent left unfinished at the time of death.

It also gives practical advice on caring for a surviving parent and resolving conflicts with siblings. 

6. Finding the Words

Struggling to find the right words to talk about your grief with your children? Consider reading this text. Wolfelt advises parents and caregivers how to talk with children about difficult topics, including death, suicide, homicide, and the death of a child.

It also discusses terminal illness, pet death, funerals, and cremation. This guide addresses the spiritual part of death and dying, even though it seems as if the book doesn't follow a particular religious affiliation.

7. Healing a Parent’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Child Dies

Wolfelt offers practical advice to parents who lost a child in this guide. Through his experience and research, Wolfelt understands the issues people experience with this type of loss. He discusses dealing with marital stress, helping surviving siblings, dealing with hurtful advice, and he also explores feelings of guilt.

8. Understanding Your Grief: Support Group Guide: Starting and Leading a Bereavement Support Group 

Perhaps you want to understand your grief by being around others who share a similar experience. This guide will assist you if you choose to lead a support group for other people mourning a loss.

9. When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing

Pet owners will connect with this book on many different levels. It offers practical advice, gives guidance on how to talk about a pet’s death with children, and provides ideas on how to memorialize a beloved animal.

10. Healing the Adult Sibling’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Brother or Sister Dies 

Consider giving this book to a friend who has recently lost a brother or sister. Like other books with this similar title, this book gives a list of action items to complete as you hurt over the loss of a sibling.

11. Companioning the Bereaved: A Soulful Guide for Counselors and Caregivers

This book, designed for grief counselors, offers advice on counseling people who have experienced a loss. Wolfelt encourages these professionals to cease looking at grief as something to “get through.” Instead, he advises them to view it as a life-changing event that will forever impact how they view the world.

12. Counseling Skills for Companioning the Mourner: The Fundamentals of Effective Grief Counseling 

This guide teaches professionals how to be more empathetic when working with clients in mourning. Wolfelt touches on how to improve your interaction with these individuals by showing empathy, respect, and warmth.  

13. Healing Your Grieving Body: 100 Physical Practices for Mourners 

While most books about grief focus on the person’s mind, this takes the physical toll of grief into account. Learn about some of the physical reactions to grief and how to soothe your body as you calm your mind.

14. Healing a Friend’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas for Helping Someone You Love Through Loss

This text teaches you how to help a friend who has recently suffered a loss. Learn about what to say and what not to say to someone in mourning. 

15. Understanding Your Suicide Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart 

Losing someone to suicide makes people feel a completely unique type of grief, and Wolfelt addresses this type of mourning in this text. He gives the reader ten touchstones to consider, such as being open to the presence of loss and reaching out for help. 

This book can assist anyone who has been touched by suicide, whether the deceased was a loved one, friend, or merely an acquaintance.

» MORE: Need help with funeral costs? Create a free online memorial to gather donations.

16. Healing Your Grieving Heart for Teens

Wolfelt did not forget the teen population when publishing his series of books. This text gives practical advice to teenagers while teaching them about grief and healing.

17. First Aid for Broken Hearts

In addition to grief, Wolfelt also writes about broken hearts caused by breakups, serious illnesses, and any other unwanted life change.

18. Companioning You!: A Soulful Guide to Caring for Yourself While You Care for the Dying and the Bereaved

This guide helps caregivers for the dying and the bereaved. Wolfelt teaches caregivers how to take care of themselves while devoting their time and energy to others.

19. The Wilderness of Grief: Finding Your Way 

Do you feel as if you were yanked out of your previous life and plopped down in the middle of nowhere after the loss of a loved one? Wolfelt uses the metaphor of the wilderness to describe the uncharted territory that comes with loss.

20. Living in the Shadow of the Ghosts of Grief: Step into the Light

Wolfelt discusses the ghosts of grief, such as depression, anxiety, and anger, that may happen due to experiencing pain or loss.

21. Healing Your Grieving Heart After a Cancer Diagnosis: 100 Practical Ideas for Coping, Surviving, and Thriving

Have you recently received a scary diagnosis? Wolfelt wrote this guide that gives practical advice for people facing a health crisis.

Are You Grieving a Loss? Ask for Help!

You can tap into many available resources as you mourn a loss. Besides Wolfelt’s books, you can read many other books about grief from a wide variety of perspectives. You may find comfort watching movies about grief as well. 

In addition to learning about grief by reading books and watching movies, consider reaching out to grief counselors, bereavement groups, or spiritual leaders. You can find many of these resources online as well as in person. 

Don’t forget others around you who suffer the same loss. Even though you lost a spouse, your child lost a parent and your in-laws lost a sibling. Using Wolfelt’s resources, learn how to connect with others who grieve.

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