Recommended Reading

The following collection of resources provides information to support people facing the end of life—their own or that of someone they love. This list includes books and websites on the following topics: About Hospice, Being Present: Friendship and Caregiving, For Kids, Spirituality, and Grief. We hope that you find them helpful.

  • About Hospice

  • What is Hospice?
    Hospice care helps people to live well, in dignity and comfort, surrounded by loved ones, as they approach the end of life.

  • Making the Most of Every Moment: A Patient's Guide to Living With Hospice
    Most of us live our lives believing there will be decades of "tomorrows" to do the things that are important to us. Entering hospice care is a harsh jolt to that belief. Suddenly time seems very short and filled with uncertainties. Difficult questions and feelings arise. This booklet is written to help with the challenges, concerns and questions common to this season of life.

  • Dying Well: The Prospect for Growth at the End of Life
    Dying Well brings us to the homes and bedsides of families with whom Dr. Byock, a longtime hospice physician and a spokesperson for the hospice movement, has worked, telling stories of love and reconciliation in the face of tragedy, pain, and conflict. It provides a blueprint for families, showing us how to deal with doctors, how to talk to friends and relatives, and how to make the end of life as meaningful and precious as the beginning.

  • Being Present: Friendship and Caregiving

  • Final Journeys: A Practical Guide for Bringing Care and Comfort at the End of Life
    For more than two decades, hospice nurse Maggie Callanan has tended to the terminally ill and been a cornerstone of support for their loved ones. Now the coauthor of the classic bestseller Final Gifts passes along the lessons she has learned from the experts-her patients. Here is the guide we all need to understanding the special needs of the dying and those who care for them.

  • Being a Compassionate Companion
    Frank Ostaseski shows us how to draw on our innate wisdom, compassion and generosity to assist in the journey of continuous discovery that begins with the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness. In an intimate conversational style, Frank shares deeply moving stories from 20 years of caring for the dying. It will be profoundly useful to those accompanying someone facing death, those coming to terms with loss and to anyone wishing to open fully to life.

  • Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson
    "A deeply moving account of courage and wisdom, shared by an inveterate mentor looking into the multitextured face of his own death. There is much to be learned by sitting in on this final class." --Jon Kabat-Zinn

  • Share The Care: How to Organize a Group to Care for Someone Who Is Seriously Ill
    Detailing their personal experience with a dying friend, the authors demonstrate how the aphorism "many hands make light work" holds true. By developing "caring networks," the work is spread among friends, neighbors, and family members, alleviating stress on the primary caregiver and providing peace of mind to the patient. This book includes sample forms and checklists, allowing readers to use it as a springboard to create their own group and providing practical advice and reassurance.

  • The Etiquette of Illness: What to Say When You Can't Find the Words
    Halpern, a psychotherapist, social worker and founder of the New York Cancer Help Program, shares here her considerable expertise on how best to comfort a close friend, colleague or relation who is living with a serious physical or mental illness. Practical suggestions are illustrated by compelling stories from her professional life, as well as from her own experiences after being diagnosed with low-grade lymphoma in 1995.

  • Caring Connections: Caring for Someone
    The Caring Connections website provides a wealth of information on a variety of topics helpful to people providing care for a loved one facing a serious illness.

  • For Kids

  • Everett Anderson's Goodbye
    Everett Anderson has a difficult time dealing with his father's death. A rhyming text expresses Everett's emotions and his mother's quiet, understanding support as Everett goes through the five necessary stages of grief.

  • Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs
    Four-year-old Tommy loves visiting the house where his grandmother, Nana Downstairs, and his great-grandmother, Nana Upstairs, live. Every Sunday, Tommy and Nana Upstairs share candy and tell each other stories. But one day Tommy's mother tells him Nana Upstairs won't be there anymore, and Tommy must struggle to understand what it means to lose someone he loves.

  • The Fall of Freddie the Leaf
    Originally published in the fall of 1982, the wonderfully wise and strikingly simple story of a leaf named Freddie has become one of the most popular books of our times. How Freddie and his companion leaves change with the passing seasons, finally falling to the ground with a winter's snow, is an inspiring allegory illustrating the delicate balance between life and death.

  • Spirituality

  • The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
    Through extraordinary anecdotes and stories from religious traditions East and West, Rinpoche introduces the reader to the fundamentals of Tibetan Buddhism, moving gradually to the topics of death and dying. Death turns out to be less of a crisis and more of an opportunity.

  • Being with Dying - Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death
    Inspired by traditional Buddhist teachings, Joan Halifax's work is a source of wisdom for all those who are charged with a dying person's care, facing their own death, or wishing to explore and contemplate the transformative power of the dying process. Her teachings affirm that we can open and contact our inner strength, and that we can help others who are suffering to do the same.

  • The Oxford Book of Prayer
    A celebrated selection of over 1,100 prayers from many centuries and many traditions, including Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Iranian, Shinto, Classical Greek and Latin, Native American, and Bahai.

  • Grief

  • Tear Soup
    If you are going to buy only one book on grief, this is the one to get! It will validate your grief experience, and you can share it with your children. You can leave it on the coffee table so others will pick it up, read it, and then better appreciate your grieving time.

  • The Courage to Grieve: The Classic Guide to Creative Living, Recovery, and Growth Through Grief
    Each of us will face some loss, sorrow and disappointment in our lives, and The Courage to Grieve provides the specific help we need to enable us to face our grief fully and to recover and grow from the experience. Judy Tatelbaum provides excellent advice on how to help oneself and others get through the immediate experience of death and the grief that follows, as well as how to understand the special grief of children.

  • Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief
    For those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, here are strength and thoughtful words to inspire and comfort.

  • Guiding your Child Through Grief
    Guiding Your Child Through Grief is written by a husband-and-wife team and based on their experiences as founders of a program for grieving children and the New England Center for Loss & Transition as well as their own personal experiences with grief.

  • Straight Talk about Death for Teenagers: How to Cope with Losing Someone You Love
    If you are a teenager whose friend or relative has died, this book was written for you. Earl A Grollman, the award-winning author of Living When a Loved One Has Died, explains what to expect when you lose someone you love.

Back to top
Share Your Journey

Create a free website for yourself or a loved one.

Get Started Now
Please Tell Your
Friends About Us