The Death of a Child• The Christmas Box – Richard Paul Evans
This is a fictional account of a woman who’d lost a child told from an unbiased third party’s perspective. It’s beautifully written with an ending that we all long for when losing a child.
• The Gift – Danielle Steele
A fictional story wonderfully told about two families brought together through terrible circumstances – both grieving losses of a different kind. There are words and passages about losing children early in life that are incredibly profound.
• Confessions of a Grieving Christian – Zig Ziglar
This is a true account of the world-renowned author and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar. He chronicles the loss of his own daughter and struggles to understand her suffering from a Christian viewpoint.
• Holding on to Hope – Nancy Guthrie
What a wonderful book – easy to read, and very thought provoking. Nancy tells the story of losing not one, but two children in infancy. She parallels these losses with the book of Job and uses many scriptural references to help parents travel the painful road of grief and loss.
• From Grief to Glory – James Bruce, III
This book chronicles the incredible accounts of Christians through the ages who have suffered the loss of a child. In most cases, these are stories of people who were amazing pillars of faith even in the worst circumstances imaginable. Stories include that of Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, John Bunyan, John Calvin, and Hetty Wesley (sister of John Wesley) – just to name a few.
• Roses in December – Marilyn Heavilin
Heavilin suffered the loss of two children. She describes her struggles in marriage, in work, and in her faith. She now speaks to groups around the world about grieving the loss of a child and has for many years been on the board of The Compassionate Friends, the largest network for grieving parents available worldwide.
• Safe in the Arms of God – John MacArthur
This book is a quick read and discusses many of the feelings left with parents after the loss of a baby. It discusses miscarriage, stillbirth, and early infant loss.
• How to Survive the Loss of a Child – Catherine M. Sanders, Ph. D.
Sanders is a psychologist specializing in bereavement. After losing her son, Jim, in a waterskiing accident, she began her own journey through grief and the loss of a child. She was astounded to find so little information for grieving parents and ultimately has devoted her professional career to writing and helping bereaved families. This book is profoundly helpful in recognizing the stages of grief and the fact that you’re not losing your mind or alone in this walk.
• Angel Unaware – Dale Evans Rogers
Dale Evans and Roy Rogers were incredibly beloved entertainers. This book was written after the death of their daughter, Robin, who was born with Down’s Syndrome and multiple heart defects. It’s written by Dale from Robin’s perspective in heaven. Although amazingly simple, it also shows a peace and understanding that came to the Rogers family through time and faith.
Heaven – what it’s like and how our loved ones got there
• My Dream of Heaven – Rebecca Ruter Springer
Truly this is the most beautiful book on heaven that I’ve read. Springer tells the story of her own experience with death and her short stay in heaven. It was written in the 1800s and is still in bookstores today. What a comfort it is for families who’ve lost a loved one to have the mental pictures that this book evokes.
• Heaven – Randy Alcorn
WOW! If you only read one book on heaven – this is the one. It answers every question that you’ve ever had about heaven, and has a table of contents that allows easy reference to the topics most important to you. It’s truly amazing and uses scriptural references throughout.
• Made for Heaven – C.S. Lewis
This is a very short book of excerpts from Lewis’s writings on the subject of heaven. These writings continually return to the theme of heaven being our true home. Though a quick read, this one is extremely thought provoking.
• 90 Minutes in Heaven – Don Piper
This is a true account of Rev. Piper’s time in heaven. He experienced this stay as a result of a terrible auto accident. Piper was left for dead by paramedics and miraculously survived. This story is incredibly moving because of its truth and honesty – even pastors are not exempt from personal tragedy and suffering. The images of heaven are truly beautiful.
• Life After Life and Reflections on Life After Life – Raymond Moody, Jr.
What an incredible read! Dr. Moody has a Ph.D. in Philosophy and then went to medical school to become a psychiatrist. During his patient studies, he found that there were extraordinary similarities in the stories of people who’d had “near death experiences.” This is a compilation of those stories – published by Guideposts. Although not meant to be a Christian book on heaven or the after life, there is no way you can read this book without knowing beyond any doubt that life does not end here.
• A Travel Guide to Heaven – Anthony DeStefano
This book contains vivid descriptions of heaven and what we’ll be doing there. Rather than focusing on the fear of death, it leads us to focus on heaven and its wonders.
• Hello From Heaven – Bill Guggenheim and Judy Guggenheim
The Guggenheims began a very large project on After Death Communication. Although the title may sound new agey or odd to some, this book is an incredible testament to the documented visits from loved ones who have gone through the “valley of the shadow of death” and are very much still with us. It is truly a gift of hope that encourages us to look beyond the grave to eternity.
Making sense of it all – Asking the tough questions
• Why? – Anne Graham Lotz
Lotz is actually Rev. Billy Graham’s daughter. She’s had numerous experiences in life that have led her to help others coping with the question of “why.” This is a quick and easy read.
• When God doesn’t make Sense – Dr. James Dobson
This book also attempts to answer the nagging questions about why suffering and bad things happen to good people. It’s written in very plain language and gives the reader a sense of comfort upon reading.
• If God is so Good, why do I hurt so Bad? – David B. Biebel
Biebel has personally suffered the loss of a child – and through his journey has heard just about every platitude or polite cliché on grief and loss. With a Christian outlook, he tells the plain truth about death, illness, divorce, and financial ruin. Through his honesty, he helps turn the pain into a meaningful journey back to hope.
• When the Enemy Strikes – Charles Stanley
In times of our greatest weakness, Satan seeks to capitalize on our fragility. Rev. Stanley discusses ways to recognize thoughts that are not of God, but of Satan. He covers many spiritual battles and gives us the insight we need to win those battles even in the toughest of times.
• A Grief Observed – C.S. Lewis
This book chronicles Lewis’s own struggles with meaning after the death of his wife. It’s a perfect gift for anyone struggling with the loss of a loved one – extremely thought provoking.
• The Problem of Pain – C.S. Lewis
Once again, C.S. Lewis shows his incredible gift for tackling some of the toughest questions that we face in our Christian lives. This book is certainly not a quick read, but it is one with incredibly deep theological discussion. Lewis won’t answer the question of “why?” but he will undoubtedly give you sound biblical insight into pain and suffering. The title says it all.
Daily Devotionals on Grief and Loss
• A Time to Grieve – Carol Staudacher
This is a daily excerpt with advice on how to get through the day that you’ve been given. It’s very easy to read and uses many quotes from notable people on the subject.
• Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul – Jack Canfield and Victor Hansen
What a wonderful book to give as a gift to someone who’s suffering. This tells many, many stories of people who’ve lost loved ones. Although sometimes difficult to read, the stories show an extraordinary amount of the Holy Spirit.
DVDs / CDs
• “Homesick” – Mercy Me
This CD, when bought from a bookstore, is also a DVD and can be played as such. The words of the group’s leader are incredibly moving as he discusses his own struggles with the loss of loved ones. You’ll listen to it over and over again.
• “Angels Among Us” – Alabama
Again, when bought from a bookstore, this CD comes packaged with a group of stories about angels on earth. It’s a beautiful group of short stories and a perfect gift.
Children’s Books – to help the youngest understand
• Just in Case you Ever Wonder – Max Lucado
It’s a sweet, sweet book that reassures a child how much you love them, how much God loves them, and briefly talks about heaven in a very loving way.
• The Angel with the Golden Glow – Elissa Al-Chokhachy
Wonderfully illustrated, this book won the Benjamin Franklin Award for publishing. It tells the story of a child who was born and ultimately went back to heaven in easy to understand language and beautiful sentiments. This one is especially good for siblings born after the death of a brother or sister.
• Someday Heaven – Larry Libby
This is a great book that in an easy question and answer format – tackling the questions that children have about heaven. Very helpful!
• Mommy, Please don’t Cry – Linda DeYmaz
Bring the tissues when you read this one. It talks about the beauty and wonder of heaven through a child’s eyes. This one is extraordinary.
Support Groups – Local and National
The Compassionate Friends
This is a wonderful group supporting bereaved parents, grandparents, and siblings. The local groups usually meet monthly. The national organization each year conducts a national conference, a “Walk to Remember,” a worldwide candle lighting service, and many online support groups.
Quarterly Newsletter: We Need Not Walk Alone
This newsletter is a wonderful outlet to read the stories of others who have lost children. They submit poetry, pictures, letters, etc. It’s very well put together and helps so much with the isolation and grief that parents feel after losing a child. Call the national office for a copy.
National Office Phone Number: (877) 969-0010