At Still Kickin, we firmly believe that stories are what help us through. That even when we’re sure what we’re experiencing sets us apart from the world, it’s what helps us truly become part of the world.
If you’re in the throes of your own grief — or trying to empathize with someone else’s losses — try these books.
Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved by Kate Bowler
Kate Bowler is a professor at the Duke Divinity school and a person who has dedicated her life to studying the prosperity gospel, which says that God wants good things for you. But... what does that mean when she’s diagnosed with stage IV cancer? This is a beautiful exploration of living in the ambiguity between diagnosis and daily life.
Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene
When Greta Greene was just 2 years old, a loose brick fell from a windowsill above where she was sitting with her grandmother in New York City. That brick tumbled through the sky and landed on Greta’s head. Greta died of her injuries, and in the wake of that random and indelible loss, her father wrote this dazzling, devastating book.
Black Widow by Leslie Gray Streeter
An alternately funny and heartbreaking story of love and loss written by one of the nation’s best columnists (you can find Leslie’s work in the Palm Beach Post and follow her on Twitter for more great takes).
When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
Our favorite Buddhist nun — okay, the only Buddhist nun we have read — never fails to reach beyond platitudes to get to the messy truth of pain and what we do with it. This is the kind of book you dog-ear and read over and over.
Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Maybe you had to read this in high school or college, but you still need to read it again. Because Viktor’s experience in a concentration camp created a piece of work that affirms everything you need to know about the secret of life: that just being here is gift enough.