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Dealing With Sudden & Unexpected Death Handbook

The handbook includes a checklist of things to do in the first 24 hours after death.  It also discusses initial grief responses like confusion and denial; funeral arrangements; and what to expect out of children at certain ages and how to help them understand death.  

Please click HERE for more info on the handbook. 

Recommended Reading on Grief and Loss

You may find some of these books helpful.  They should be available at your local library or bookstore.

Grief Digest Magazine-Hope, Information and Support. The Centering Corporation, 7230 Maple Street, Omaha, NE 68134

Living with Loss Magazine. Bereavement Publishing Inc., Bereavement Publications, Inc. P.O. Box 101 Eckert, CO 81418

General Readings on Grief

Aleshire, L. (2009). 101 Ways you can help: How to comfort and support those who are grieving. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.

Becvar, D. S. (2001). In the presence of grief: Helping family members resolve death, dying and bereavement issues. New York: Guilford Press.

Bozarth, A. R. (1994). Life is goodbye, life is hello: Grieving well through all kinds of loss. Center City, MN: Hazelden.

Cairns, S. (2009). The end of suffering: Finding purpose in pain. Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press.

Clark, P. S., & Kinneberg, J. R. (2013). Life Reflections: Create a Video Heirloom. Parting Thoughts Press

Cowman, L.B. (1996). Streams in the desert. Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corporation.

Cutler, K. A. (2015). Just Don't Forget Me. Idea Creations Press.

Deits, B. (1992). Life after loss. Tucson, AZ: Fischer Books.

Eldon, K. (2007). Angel catcher: A journal of loss and remembrance. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.

Grollman, E.A. (1995). Living when a loved one has died (3rd Ed.). Boston: Beacon Press.

Hertzler, J. S. (2010). Seasons of solace: A story of healing through photos and poems. Austin, TX: Synergy Books.

Horsley, H. & Horsley, G. (2007). Teen grief relief: Parenting with understanding, support and guidance. Highland City, FLRainbow Books.

Jensen, A. (1995). Healing grief. Richmond, WA: Medic Publishing Co.

Klass, D., Silverman, P., & Nickman, S. (1996). Continuing bonds: New understandings of grief. Bristol, PA: Taylor and Francis.

Lightner, C. & Hathaway, N. (1990). Giving sorrow words. New York: Warner Books.

Manning, D. (1979). Don’t take my grief away: What to do when you lose a loved one. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

Marinella, S. (2017). The story you need to tell: Writing to heal from trauma, illness, or loss. Novato, CA: New World Library.

Rando, T. (1988). Grieving: How to go on living when someone you love dies. San Francisco: Lexington Books, Jossey-Bass.

Sandberg, S., & Grant, A. (2017). Option B: Facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy. New York: Knopf Books.

Schaefer, D. & Lyons, C. (1993). How do we tell the children? New York: Newmarket Press.

Smolowe, J. (2014). Four funerals and a wedding: resilience in a time of grief. Berkeley, CA: She Writes Press.

Staudacher, C. (1994). A time to grieve. San Francisco: Harper Collins.

Tatelbaum, J. (1980). The courage to grieve. Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott & Crowell.

Westberg, Granger. (1971). Good griefPhiladelphia: Fortress Press.

Sudden Death

Armstrong, C. (2011). Transforming traumatic grief: Six steps to move from grief to peace after the sudden or violent death of a loved one. Tijeras, NM: Artemicia Press.

Iserson, K. (1999). Grave words: Notifying survivors about sudden, unexpected death. Tuscon, AZ: Galen Press.

Jenkins, B. (2001). What to do when the police leave: A guide to the first days to traumatic loss (3rd Ed.). Richmond, VA: WBJ Press.

Lord, J. H. (2014). No time for goodbyes: Coping with sorrow, anger, and injustice after a tragic death. Burnsville, NC: Compassion Press.

Noel, B., & Blair, P. D. (2008). I wasn’t ready to say goodbye: Surviving, coping, and healing after the sudden death of a loved one. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.

O’Hara, K. (2006). A grief like no other: Surviving the violent death of someone you love. New York: Marlowe & Company.

O’Rourke, M. (2012). The long goodbye. New York: Riverhead Books.

Vaughn Cole, B., Harvey, J., & Miles, L. (2016) Dealing with sudden and unexpected death: A Handbook for survivors. Available from Caring Connections: A Hope and Comfort in Grief Program, 801-585-9522.

Loss of a Child

Barkin, C., & Mitchell, E. (2009). Beyond tears: Living after losing a child. New York: St. Martins Griffin.

Bernstein, J. R. (1998). When the bough breaks: Forever after the death of a son or daughter. Kansas City, MO: Andrews & McMeel.

Floyd, G. (2012). A grief unveiled: one fathers journey through the death of a child, fifteen years later. Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press.

Gilbert, L. (2011). Journey to the Dance. Dallas, TX: Ramey Writings LLC. 

Grossman, R. (2011). My Shoshana: A father’s journey through loss. Savage, MD: Eschel Books.

Hood, A. (2009). Comfort: A journey through grief. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Knapp, R. J. (1986). Beyond endurance: When a child diesWestminster, MD: Schocken Books, Random House. 

Lyons, C. (2015). Along came hope: A memoir. Park City, UT: Silver Dollar Press, a division of Lucky Penny Publishing, LLC.

McCracken, A. & Semel, M. (1998). A broken heart still beats: After your child dies. Center City, MN: Hazelden Books.

Parker, A. (2017). An unseen angel: A mother’s story of faith, hope and healing after Sandy Hook. Salt Lake City, UT: Ensign Peak.

Rosof, B.  (1994). The worst loss: How families heal from the death of a child. New York: Henry Holt.

Schiff, H. S. (1988). The bereaved parent. London: Penguin Books.

Loss of a Parent

Chethik, N. (2001). FatherLoss. New York: Hyperion Books.

Edelman, H. (2006). Motherless daughters: The legacy of loss. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.

Mundy, L. (2004). Grieving the loss of a parent. St. Meinrad, IN: One Caring Place Abbey Press.

Loss of a Spouse

Braestrup, K. (2007). Here if you need me: A true story. New York, NY: Back Bay Books.

Caine, L. (1988). Being a widow. Bergenfield, NJ: Penguin Publishing. 

Campbell, S. & Silverman, P. (1987). Widower: When men are left alone. Old Tappan, NJ:  Prentice Hall Press.

Christensen, A. (2015). The path of 8: It begins on a mountain, moves around it, and then moves it. Bloomington, IN: Balboa Press. 

Feinberg, L. S. (2004). I’m grieving as fast as I can: How young widows and widowers can cope and heal. Far Hills, NJ: New Horizon Press.

Felber, M. (2008). Finding your way after your spouse dies. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press.

Greene, P. (2003). It must have been moonglow: Reflections on the first year of widowhood. New York, NY: Villard Press.

Heinlein, S., Brumett, G., & Tibbals, J. (1997).  When a lifemate dies:  Stories of love, loss and healing.  Minneapolis:  Fairview Press.

Lewis, C. S. (1961). A grief observed. New York: Harper & Row.

Mabry, R. L. (2017). Tender scar: Life after the death of a spouse. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications

Wheeler, B.R. (2012). When a spouse dies: What I didn’t know about helping myself and others through grief. Springville, UT: Plain Sight Publishing.

Loss of a Sibling

DeVita-Raeburn, E. (2004). The empty room: Understanding sibling loss. New York, NY: Scribner Publishing.

Books for Children

Blanford, C. (2008). Something happened. (ages 2-6). Hinsdale, IL: Something Happened Handbook.

Buscaglia, L(1982). Fall of Freddie the Leaf.  (ages 5 - 10). Thoroughfare, NJ: C.B. Slack. 

Clifton, L., & Grifalconi, A. (1988). Everett Anderson’s goodbye. New Yor: Holt. 

Cammarata, D. (2009). Someone I love died by suicide. Jupiter, FL: Limitless Press LLC.

Curtis, J. L., & Cornell, L. (2000). Where Do Balloons Go? New York: HarperCollins.

Edwards, A., Ponciano, L., & Horwitz, J. (2013). The elephant in the room: a children’s book for grief and loss. United States: Amanda Edwards & Leslie Ponciano.

Holmes, M. (1999). Molly’s Mom Died. (ages 5-11). Omaha, NE: Centering Corporation.

Holmes, M. (1999). Sam’s Dad Died. (ages 5-11). Omaha, NE: Centering Corporation.

Kaplow, J. B., Pincus, D., & Spiegel, B. (2007). Samantha Janes missing smile: A story about coping with the loss of a parent. Washington, DC: Magination Press.

Kearst, P. (2000). The invisible string. Camarillo, CA: DeVorse & Company. 

Krementz, J.  (1981). How it feels when a parent dies. (ages 7 - 16). New York: Alfred A Knopf, Inc.

La Tour, K. (1991). For those who live. (sibling grief, ages 8 - 18). Omaha, NE: Centering Corp.

Londner, R., & Junco, M. A. (2013). Stones for Grandpa. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben Pub.

Mellonie, B. & Ingpen, R. Life times: The beautiful way to explain death to children. (1983). (ages 2 +). New York: Bantam Books. 

Olivieri, L. (2010). Where Are You? A Child’s Book About Loss. LaVergne, TN: Lulu Press. 

Plouffe, M. E. (2017). I know it in my heart: Walking through grief with a child: a memoir. Berkeley, CA: She Writes Press.

Reagan, J. (2009). Always my brother. (sibling loss). Gardinner, ME: Tilbury Press. 

Rothman, J. (1996). A birthday present for Daniel. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. 

Rubel, B. (2009). But I didn’t say goodbye. Kendall Park, NJ: Griefwork Center, Inc.

Schwiebert, P. & DeKlyen, C. (1999). Tear soup: A recipe for healing after loss.  Portland, OR: Grief Watch.

Scrivani, M. (1996). I heard your daddy died. (ages 2-6). Omaha, NE: Centering Corporation.

Scrivani, M. (1994). I heard your mommy died. (ages 3-7). Omaha, NE: Centering Corporation.

Thomas, P., & Harker, L. (2001). I miss you: A first look at death. Hauppauge, NY: Barrons Educational Series.

Vaughn Cole, B. (2002).  James’ Story:  Helping children cope with loss due to Suicide.  Available from Caring Connections:  A Hope and Comfort in Grief Program; also available in Spanish 801-585-9522.

Viorst, J., & Blegvad, E. (1988). The tenth good thing about Barney. NY, NY: Aladdin Paperbacks.

Walker, R. J., MD, & Walker, C. J. (2017). Good Night Beautiful Mother. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Wilhelm, H. (2013). I’ll always love you. New York: Dragonfly Books.

Yeomans, E. (2000). Lost and found. (ages 5-9). Omaha, NE: Centering Corporation.