Resources on Grief, Dying, and Death

  • Interesting/Informative Articles
  • Grief Support and Discussion
    • Organizations
    • Individuals
    • Blogs and Websites on Grief
  • End of Life Planning, Conversation, Support
  • Funeral and Memorial Services
  • Alternative Memorialization
  • Books about Grief
    • Memoirs
    • Essay Compilations
    • Grief Support
    • Other Helpful Books for Grief
    • On Death
    • On Writing About Death
  • TV Shows and Movies and Grief
    • Lists/articles
    • Shows
    • Movies
  • Music and Grief
  • Art and Grief
    • Resources
    • Articles
    • Artists (alphabetical order by last name)
  • Podcasts
  • Death Positive Discussion
    • Organizations
    • Individuals

Download the PDF here:


Interesting/Informative Articles 

Grief Support and Discussion

Organizations

  • Actively Moving Forward
    • https://healgrief.org/actively-moving-forward/
    • “Actively Moving Forward® (AMF) is a national network created in response to the needs of grieving young adults. For over a decade, we have connected, supported and empowered grieving young adults to “actively move forward” in memory of their person. These young adults support one another and are encouraged to actively move forward in memory of their person.”
    • “Due to the need, the AMF model has expanded its demographic to include all young adults, aged up to, and including 30. This program is currently actively moving forward coast-to-coast.”
  • At Work 
    • (offshoot from The Dinner Party) 
    • https://www.thedinnerparty.org/atwork
    • We bring peer-to-peer support practices into workplaces and organizations to better support employees who are struggling with loss. We reestablish trust after difficult times and use the shared experience to build a deeply connected, energized and effective culture.
  • The Dinner Party 
    • https://www.thedinnerparty.org/
    • “The Dinner Party is a platform for grieving 20- and 30-somethings to find peer community and build lasting relationships. We screen, train and support a growing network of peer hosts, and connect them to 12-15 people nearby, who share a similar age and loss experience. What started as an experiment on a back deck in Los Angeles, has served well over 10,000 grieving young people to date. Today, 4,000+ active members gather bimonthly at 400+ local tables in over 100 cities and towns worldwide.”
  • The Dougy Center 
    • https://www.dougy.org/
    • provides support in a safe place where children, teens, young adults, and their families grieving a death can share their experiences. We provide support and training locally, nationally, and internationally to individuals and organizations seeking to assist children in grief. Through our Pathways program, we provide a safe place for families living with an advanced serious illness. 
  • Ernest Becker Foundation 
    • http://ernestbecker.org/
    • Established in 1993, the Ernest Becker Foundation seeks to advance understanding of how the unconscious denial of mortality profoundly influences human behavior. Ernest Becker laid the foundation for this work in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Denial of Death.
  • Green-Wood Cemetery Events 
  • Grief In Common
    • https://www.griefincommon.com/
    • The only online community designed to connect those who are grieving based on background and similar experiences for chats and opportunities to meet in person.
  • The Grief Practice
    • https://www.thegriefpractice.com/
    • “A storybook and workbook for moving with and through grief. Through stories and practices The Grief Practice explains and explores grief in the body in a beautiful and comprehensible way. The ancient practices of yoga and mindfulness are offered through a trauma-informed and science-based lens, creating an accessible path to grief through yoga designed to support and welcome grief.”
    • “This the story of grief, as told by you—the many hearts and many voices, compiled together in book form, infused with practices designed to support the unfurling of what aches the most, with this companion website offering resources, as well as ongoing stories of living grief.”
  • Modern Loss
    • https://modernloss.com/
    • Modern Loss is a place to share the unspeakably taboo, unbelievably hilarious, and unexpectedly beautiful terrain of navigating your life after a death. 
    • Personal essays from diverse people who have experienced all kinds of loss
    • Events, resources, links to articles on loss
  • New York Life Foundation 
    • https://www.newyorklife.com/foundation
    • https://www.newyorklife.com/foundation/bereavement-support
    • Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided $300 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. The Foundation invests in programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement support.
    • The Foundation also facilitates “people power,” encouraging the community involvement of employees and agents of New York Life who volunteer where and when it matters most.
  • Reimagine End of life 
    • https://letsreimagine.org/
    • Reimagine End of Life is a community-wide exploration of death and celebration of life through creativity and conversation. Drawing on the arts, spirituality, healthcare, and design, we spark experiences and festivals that break down taboos and bring diverse communities together in wonder, preparation, and remembrance.
    • Reimagine envisions a world in which we are all able to reflect on why we’re here, prepare for a time when we won’t be, and live fully through the end. In facing death, we begin to live fully.
  • Speaking Grief 
    • https://www.speakinggrief.org
    • https://speakinggrief.org/documentary
    • “Speaking Grief is a public media initiative aimed at creating a more grief-aware society by validating the experience of grievers and helping to guide those who wish to support them.”
    • Speaking Grief features diverse representations of grief through candid interviews with families whose losses range from stillbirth to suicide.
    • Speaking Grief features a diverse array of interviews with professionals working in the grief field.
    • Resources to better understand, Support, and continue conversations around grief
  • Uplift Philly 
    • https://upliftphilly.org/
    • Uplift offers peer support groups for children and teens in grades K-12th who have experienced the death of someone significant in their lives. Peer support and a caring adult presence help to reduce the feelings of isolation and loneliness that children often experience after death. 
    • Uplift has multiple locations around the city of Philadelphia. Creative activities and games allow children to express their thoughts and feelings about death. All groups are divided by age and developmental level to best tailor our support programs. Uplift also offers caregiver groups at the same time to provide support for adults raising a grieving child.
  • What’s Your Grief?
    •  https://whatsyourgrief.com/
    • As mental health professionals who have experienced significant losses ourselves, we know individual grief is unique and there is no “right” way to cope. Our goal is to create a community that provides hope, support, and education to anyone wishing to understand the complicated experience of life after loss.

Individuals

  • Alua Arthur
    • Runs a death doula training company, Going With Grace.
    • Serves as an adviser to Cake and Near and has become a de facto spokeswoman for Black-owned death care businesses. 
  • Claire Bidwell Smith
    • https://clairebidwellsmith.com/
    • Grief therapist – offers one-on-one grief coaching and also online grief courses
    • author, speaker, and grief expert
    • Co-founder of Motherless Daughters Retreats with Hope Edelman, offering one-day workshops and four-day retreats to help motherless women revisit and reassess their early losses; get unstuck; and build community among others who share similar stories.
  • Ken Breniman
  • Megan Devine
    • Refuge in grief https://refugeingrief.com/
    • Author of It’s Ok that you’re not Ok https://refugeingrief.com/book/
    • Writing Your Grief Course/Communityhttps://refugeingrief.com/writing-your-grief/
    • a psychotherapist, writer, grief advocate, & communication expert dedicated to helping you live through things you never thought you’d face. I’m proud to have created an online community and resource that helps people survive some of the hardest experiences of their lives. Through my book, podcasts, and online courses, I help people learn the skills they need to love themselves – and each other – better.
  • Hope Edelman
    • https://hopeedelman.com/
    • Certified Martha Beck Life Coach specializing in grief, early loss, and creativity. 
    • She is the co-founder of Motherless Daughters Retreats with Claire Bidwell Smith, offering one-day workshops and four-day retreats to help motherless women revisit and reassess their early losses; get unstuck; and build community among others who share similar stories.
  • Alica Forneret
    • Her site: https://alicaforneret.com/
    • Founder of the Dream Moms Club: https://alicaforneret.com/the-dead-moms-club
    • GRIEF & MENTAL  HEALTH  RESOURCES BY  &  FOR  PEOPLE  OF  COLOR:
    • “The bulk of my grief work focuses on how we can support each other through death-related loss and the grief sparked by (and before) end-of-life experiences. I am fiercely committed to making sure that our conversations about grief, death, and dying go beyond hospital rooms and funeral homes, and am excited to contribute to how we handle grief in the workplace, in our personal relationships, and, most importantly, publicly. I currently work with an extensive network of international creatives, foundations, and wellness organizations – all as collaborative partners for print, digital, and experiential grief work.”
    • “I am becoming certified as a Life Cycle Celebrant to help people celebrate both life and death. I am a council member on the BC Women’s Health Foundation’s Young Women Council and an Associate Board member for Our House, a youth grief support center. I was also honored to be part of lululemon’s inaugural lululemon Luminaries program cohort.”
    • “My written work has been featured on the pages of popular magazines and books, including (but not limited to) Modern Loss, Grief Dialogues, Vancouver Magazine, Loam, and Kinfolk. And my story and voice have been featured on CTV News, Grief Out Loud, InStyle, and more. You can find me writing my newsletter from coffee shops, running workshops with Reimagine in NYC, and hosting Death Over Dinner events across the United States and Canada.”
  • Cheryl Strayed
    • http://www.cherylstrayed.com/
    • http://www.cherylstrayed.com/wild_108676.htm
    • Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Wild, the New York Times bestsellers Tiny Beautiful Things and Brave Enough, and the novel Torch. 
    • Strayed is the host of the New York Times hit podcast, Sugar Calling and also Dear Sugars, which she co-hosted with Steve Almond.

Blogs and Websites on Grief

  • The Bucket 
    • Magazine
    • The Bucket’s mission is to help people lead more fulfilling lives by embracing their own mortality. Equal parts philosophy and utility, The Bucket is a place to come to see how acknowledging death changes the way you view – and actually ‘do’ – life.
    • https://thebucket.com/
  • The Grief pad 
    • A young female woman of color who has experienced a huge loss in her life and wants to be able to express freely on Grief.
    • Dedicated to helping young people understand and converse freely on Grief.
    • https://thegriefpad.com/about/

End of Life Planning, Conversation, Support 

  • CAKE
    • https://www.joincake.com/
    • basic preplanning services are free.
    • “Our goal is to empower people to live in accordance with their values all the way to the end. This can only happen if we know our end-of-life preferences and share them with our loved ones. Presently, fewer than 1 in 4 people have an advance care plan in place. We use technology to make it easier to discover and share your preferences.”
    • Tombstone generator: https://www.joincake.com/tombstone-generator/
  • End Well
    • https://endwellproject.org/
    • “a conference about improving the culture, products and policy around end of life.”
    • “End Well is dedicated to the belief that all people should experience the end of life in a way that matches their values and goals. When faced with issues of mortality, we often suffer needlessly for a variety of reasons, from cultural and clinical to matters of access. End Well brings together a multidisciplinary community that unites design, technology, health, policy and activist initiative to create a cultural shift to transform our thinking around the end of life.”
  • Inner Portals
  • Lantern
    • https://www.lantern.co/
    • Get your free step-by-step guide on how to navigate your life before and after a death.
    • basic preplanning services are free.
  • Near
    • https://staynear.co/
    • “Find the end of life support you need. Near is a place to connect individuals and families with those offering services and support at the end of life. A community where providers can share their work through detailed listings and users can search by location.”
  • New York Life 
    • https://www.newyorklife.com/
    • For 175 years, people have worked with New York Life to protect their families and futures. We believe in the importance of human guidance and in trusted relationships built on being there when our customers need us most.
  • Reimagine End of life 
    • https://letsreimagine.org/
    • Reimagine End of Life is a community-wide exploration of death and celebration of life through creativity and conversation. Drawing on the arts, spirituality, healthcare, and design, we spark experiences and festivals that break down taboos and bring diverse communities together in wonder, preparation, and remembrance.
    • Reimagine envisions a world in which we are all able to reflect on why we’re here, prepare for a time when we won’t be, and live fully through the end. In facing death, we begin to live fully.
  • TalkDeath
    • https://www.talkdeath.com/
    • TalkDeath’s mission is to encourage positive and constructive conversations around death and dying. Although our awareness of the issues and needs surrounding death is growing, it is still not considered appropriate “dinner table talk.” Well, we think it is.
    • From green burials and home funerals, to history, memento mori art, funeral law, and grief resources, TalkDeath.com is the hub for a changing death-conscious public. TalkDeath also aims to bridge the gap between death professionals and the general public, helping you make informed end-of-life decisions.
  • Willing
    •  https://willing.com/
    • “provides state-specific estate planning documents online that can be updated any time”

Funeral and Memorial Services 

  • Leaves with You
    • https://www.leaveswithyou.com/
    • Leaves With You provides rituals to create healing and ceremony at one’s end of life. Our main offering is a biodegradable coffin made using macrame, the ancient process of tying rope. Leaves With You invites family members and mourners to participate in and weave their prayers into the coffin’s creation. The act of weaving the coffin provides space for mourners to be present with their own grief and healing process. The deceased is then wrapped in an object of love that their family and friends created.
  • Parting
    • https://www.parting.com/
    • “Founded in Los Angeles, an online directory of funeral homes searchable by ZIP code, which allows users to compare prices and services, and view the homes’ locations.”

Alternative Memorialization 

  • Covid Memorial
    • https://covidmemorial.online/
    • The purpose of the COVID Memorial is to be a place to share remembrances of loved ones lost to the coronavirus pandemic, and to encourage public health measures  that can prevent more deaths in the future.
  • Eterneva
    • https://eterneva.com/
    • “Whether you have ashes at home or recently lost a remarkable person – celebrate their life by making a diamond from ashes or hair.”
  • Memories Out of the Box
    • https://memoriesoutofthebox.com/
    • Our desire to document our lives and tell our stories runs long and deep, but so many of us never get to the telling part. That is why Memories Out of the Box exists: to help you tell the story of your life.
  • Rose River Memorial Project (COVID Memorial)
    • https://www.roseriver.memorial/
    • “A massive artwork” being created “to collectively grieve as a nation.”
    • “More than 200,000 handcrafted everlasting roses are placed in undulating rows outdoors to represent each life taken. This artwork will represent the enormity of the loss from the COVID-19 crisis. The memorial becomes a focus for all of us to mourn and heal.”
    • “Starting September 2020 we’re inviting you to build this artwork by making beautiful felt roses following our simple pattern. How many we all make determines how soon the artwork is created. let’s build this river, together.”
  • TG Beyond
    • https://www.tgbeyond.com/
    • VIRTUAL MEMORIALS AND RECEPTIONS
    • Conducting a virtual memorial enables family and friends to show up, even when they can’t show up.

Books about Grief

Memoirs

  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
  • The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith
  • Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected–A Memoir by  Kelle Hampton
  • From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
  • The Life of Stuff: A memoir about the mess we leave behind by Susannah Walker
  • The Dream of Water: A Memoir by Kyoko Mori
  • How to Forget: A Daughter’s Memoir by Kate Mulgrew
  • The Goodbye Diaries by Marisa Bardach Ramel and Sally Bardach
  • Black Widow: A Sad-Funny Journey Through Grief for People Who Normally Avoid Books with Words Like “journey” in the Title by Leslie Gray Streeter
  • Invisible Sisters: A Memoir by Jessica Handler
  • No Happy Endings: A Memoir by Nora McInerny

Compilations

  • MODERN LOSS: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome by Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner
  • Grief Dialogues: Stories On Love And Loss compiled by Elizabeth Coplan
  • Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief edited by Cindy Milstein

Grief Support

  • It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine
  • Things I Wish I Knew Before My Mom Died: Coping with Loss Every Day by Ty Alexander
  • Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief by Claire Bidwell Smith
  • After This by Claire Bidwell Smith
  • The AfterGrief by Hope Edelman 
  • Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss by Hope Edelman
  • The Dead Moms Club: A Memoir about Death, Grief, and Surviving the Mother of All Losses by Kate Spencer
  • The Hot Young Widows Club by Nora McInerny
  • It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny

Other Helpful Books for Grief

  • When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
  • The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk
  • Before and After Loss: A Neurologist’s Perspective on Loss, Grief, and Our Brain by Lisa M. Shulman

On Death 

  • Is the Cemetery Dead? by David Charles Sloane
  • Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

On Writing About Loss, Grief, and Death 

  • The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story by Edwidge Danticat
  • Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma by Melanie Brooks

TV Shows and Movies about Grief

Lists/articles

Shows

  • Never Have I Ever
  • Six Feet Under
  • Dead to Me
  • Kidding
  • Jane the Virgin 
  • Russian Doll
  • This is Us
  • A Million Little Things
  • Go On
  • Sorry for Your Loss

Movies

Music and Grief

Art and Grief

Resources on Art and Grief 

  • Cube Design Museum – (Re)Design Death Exhibition
  • Rose River Memorial Project (COVID Memorial)
    • https://www.roseriver.memorial/
    • “A massive artwork” being created “to collectively grieve as a nation.”
    • “More than 200,000 handcrafted everlasting roses are placed in undulating rows outdoors to represent each life taken. This artwork will represent the enormity of the loss from the COVID-19 crisis. The memorial becomes a focus for all of us to mourn and heal.”
    • “Starting September 2020 we’re inviting you to build this artwork by making beautiful felt roses following our simple pattern. How many we all make determines how soon the artwork is created. let’s build this river, together.”

Articles on Art and Grief

Artists (alphabetical order by last name) 

  • Freya Powell 
    • http://www.freyapowell.com/
    • Freya Powell’s performance project, Only Remains Remain, draws from the Greek tragedy, Antigone, to create an elegy for the hundreds of unidentified migrants buried in mass graves in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Brooks County, Texas. Working with an ensemble of 15 performers, Powell explores the mournful potential of the voice. Through a collaborative process, the work utilizes pitch, intonation, breath, movement, and silence to embody a contemporary tragedy through the structure of a Sophoclean chorus.
  • Patria Soli Project (homeland soil)
    • https://www.patriasoli.com/
    • a socially engaged art project for people who are not able to go back to their homeland at the end of their life. This project delivers soil from one’s homeland to a person.

Podcasts

  • Terrible, Thanks for Asking
    • https://www.ttfa.org/
    • You know how when someone asks “How are you?” you just say “Fine,” even if you’re totally dying inside, so everyone can go about their day?
    • “Terrible, Thanks For Asking” is the opposite of that. Nora McInerny asks real people to share their complicated and honest feelings about how they really are. It’s sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and often both.
    • TTFA was named one of the best podcasts three years in a row by The Atlantic. The New York Times calls it “a gift to be able to listen.”

Death Positive Discussion 

Organizations

  • Death Cafe
    • https://deathcafe.com/
    • At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. Our objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’. A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session.
    • Death Cafe is a ‘social franchise’. This means that people who sign up to our guide and principles can use the name Death Cafe, post events to this website and talk to the press as an affiliate of Death Cafe.
  • Death Over Dinner 
    • https://deathoverdinner.org/
    • “This project was created as a gift, an invitation and a simple set of tools to help families and friends address the basic human fact that we are all, at some point, going to die. We suffer more when we don’t communicate our wishes, we suffer less when we know how to honor the wishes of our loved ones. As we build greater comfort and literacy around this important topic, every single one of us wins.”
  • Death Reference Desk
    • http://www.deathreferencedesk.org/
    • Center for Death and Society is by the same guy
    • “Welcome to the Death Reference Desk! We scour the web and beyond for All Things Death: the bizarre, the batty and the beautiful, from interesting blogs and recommended books to commentary and analysis of death in the news. We’re talkin’ good death. Bad death. Interesting, bizarre, nuanced death. Culturally and politically charged death. Scientific death and the ideas over time that have gripped the heart and mind regarding what it is and what happens thereafter. We are also a bona fide reference desk. Have a death-related question? Ask us!”
  • Order of the Good Death
    •  http://www.orderofthegooddeath.com/
    • From “Deathfluencer” Caitlin Doughty  
      • Mortician, author, “Ask a Mortician” 
      • Her website: https://linktr.ee/thegooddeath
      • She believed that change would only happen with a better funeral industry, where the family could be involved with the process, and the dead weren’t hidden behind closed doors (or closed vans). Even though she had no online presence and no funeral home of her own, she began to reach out to people, including funeral industry professionals, academics, and artists who were exploring ways to prepare a death phobic culture for their inevitable mortality. She found kindred spirits and a community, and wanted everyone to know the incredible people that were working to remedy our crippling fear of death
  • Reddit Communities
    • Reddit is actually a great resource for death positivity. 
    • r/deathpositive is run by The Order of the Good Death and is a great place to keep up to date with their activities. 
    • r/deathlings is a great collection of news and information. 
    • And although it isn’t a death positive resource, r/askfuneraldirectors is a great resource for anyone thinking about a job in death care, or are curious about funeral directing in general.
  • SAYIN’ IT LOUDER: A Conversation about “A Good Death” in a racist society
    • Organized by Alua Arthur of Going with Grace 
    • an online panel discussion with five Black leaders in the death and dying space.
      • Joél Simone Anthony
      • Alica Forneret
      • Naomi Edmondson
      • Oceana Sawyer
      • Lashanna Williams
    • See the replay here: https://mailchi.mp/59f0d3f361c8/panel-discussion
  • TalkDeath
    • https://www.talkdeath.com/
    • TalkDeath’s mission is to encourage positive and constructive conversations around death and dying. Although our awareness of the issues and needs surrounding death is growing, it is still not considered appropriate “dinner table talk.” Well, we think it is.
    • From green burials and home funerals, to history, memento mori art, funeral law, and grief resources, TalkDeath.com is the hub for a changing death-conscious public. TalkDeath also aims to bridge the gap between death professionals and the general public, helping you make informed end-of-life decisions.

Individuals