Grief Lending Library

An essential part of the Academy, the Kim Peterson Memorial Grief Lending Library houses an extensive collection of books and resources for all ages, available for check out.

Located at Hamilton’s on Westown Parkway (3601 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines), the library is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm.

Use the below categories to assist with your search.

  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Anticipatory Grief
  • Children and Terminal Illness
  • Children's Books
  • Death of a Child
  • Death of a Partner
  • Death of a Pet
  • General Adult Grief
  • Helping Teens and Children
  • Professionals
  • Spanish Language
  • Sudden Death
  • Teen Books

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Title Author Description Category Topics Location
Time to Mourn, A: Judaism and the psychology of bereavement Sprio, Jack D. (Bloch Publishing Company, 1967)

Defines the socio-religious aspects concerning the dynamics of the process of mourning as it is revealed in modern psychiatric research, as well as the Jewish theological background relating to the concept of death.

  • Religious - Jewish / Historical
296 S
To Die with Style McCoy, Marjorie Casbier (Abingdon Press, 1974)

Deals with the need to be aware of our natural fear of death, our anxiety, our will to live and the foretastes of death in the midst of life.

  • Historical
155.9 M
Tracks of a Fellow Struggler: living and growing through grief Claypool, John (Insight Press, 1995)

This book is the story of Claypool's own journey through the darkness, written through four sermons. The first was delivered just eleven days after his eight year old daughter's diagnosis of leukemia, the second after her first major relapse nine months later, and the third weeks after her death. The final sermon - reflection on the process of grieving - was preached three years later.

248.8 C
Trauma And Recovery Herman, Judith, M.D. (Basic Books, 1997)

“Bridging the worlds of war veterans, prisoners of war, battered women and incest victims, Herman presents a compelling analysis of trauma and the process of healing.”

  • Trauma
616.85 H
Travel Guide to Heaven, A DeStefano, Anthony (Doubleday, 2003)

Combining the clarity and logic of C. S. Lewis with a terrific sense of fun and adventure, DeStefano creates a brilliant, reassuring portrait of heaven, a place that has intrigued and puzzled humankind throughout history. 

  • Relgious
236.24 D
Twentieth Century Faith: hope And survival Mead, Margaret (Harper and Row, Publishers, 1972)

Religious Perspectives represents a quest for the rediscovery of man. It constitutes an effort to define man's search for the essence of being in order that he may have a knowledge of goals. It is an endeavor to show that there is no possibility of achieving an understanding of man's total nature on the basis of phenomena known by the analytical method alone.

  • Religious / Historical
200 M
Understanding Grief: it’s roots, dynamics, and treatment Jackson, Edgar N. (Abingdon Press, 1957)

Readers will find a perceptive history of man's reaction to death and practical methods of counseling which can restore the grief-stricken to a useful life.

  • Historical
157 J
Understanding Loneliness Jackson, Edgar N. (SCM Press Ltd., 1980)

Dr. Jackson has written in a way which will being real help, insight and improvement even to situations which have seemed hopeless.

157 J
Understanding Your Grief Support Group Guide: Starting and Leading a Bereavement Support Group Wolfelt, Alan D., Ph.D. (Companion Books, 2003)

A support group guide that goes along with the "Understanding your Grief: ten essential touchstones for finding hope and healing your heart" book.

155.9 W
Understanding Your Grief: ten essential touchstones for finding hope and healing your heart Wolfelt, Alan D., Ph.D. (Companion Books, 2003, second ed., 2021 )

Explains the important difference between grief and mourning and explores the mourner's need to acknowledge the death and embrace the pain of the loss. This important book also explores the many factors that make each person's grief unique and the myriad of normal thoughts and feelings the mourner might have. Questions of spirituality and religion are addressed.

155.9 W
Using Grief To Grow: A primer Hartnett, Johnette (Good Mourning, South Burlington, VT. 1993)

Answers to common questions of those trying to support bereaved friends. Descriptions of the most common symptoms and stages based on the most current research on grief.

155.9 H
Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms: Who and What You See Before You Die Kessler, David (Hay House Publishers, 2010)

In the tapestry of life and death, we may begin to see connections to the past that we missed in life. While death may look like a loss to the living, the last hours of a dying person may be filled with fullness rather than emptiness. In this fascinating book, Kessler brings us stunning stories from the bedsides of the dying that will educate, enlighten, and comfort us all.

155.9 K
Walking with God through Pain and Suffering Keller, Timothy (Penguin Group, 2013)

The question of why God would allow pain and suffering has vexed believers and nonbelievers forever. Keller takes on this enduring issue and shows that there is meaning and reason behind pain and suffering, making a case that this essential part of the human experience can truly be overcome only by understanding our relationship with God.

  • Religious
248.8 K
We Are But A Moment’s Sunlight: understanding death Adler, Charles, M.D., ed. (Pocket Books, 1976)

Helps give a renewed awareness that death is a vital fact of life. The more than fifty literary selections face death with simplicity, dignity, honesty, and humor.

  • Historical
128.5 A
Welcome to the Grief Club, because you don't have to go through it alone Kwoh, Janine

Explores all the surprising, confusing, brutal, funny, and downright bizarre facets of grief.

155.9 K
What Can I Say? How To Talk To People In Grief Miller, Roger F. (CBP Press, 1989)

Drawing on personal experience as a grieving person and as a pastor, Miller gives a practical guide for the conscientious friend of those who grieve.

  • Religious / Helping a Friend
155.9 M
What Will Help Me? / How Can I Help? Miller, James E. (Willowgreen Publishing, 1994)

Two books in one. Twelve suggestions for someone coping with grief and loss, and twelve suggestions for helping someone who has suffered a loss.

  • Helping a Friend
155.9 M
When a Grandchild Dies: what to do, what to say, how to cope Galinsky, Nadine (Gal in The Sky Publishing Co., 1999)

A guide for newly bereaved grandparents working through their own grief while comforting their children. Includes stories and quotes from those who have experienced such a loss.

  • Death of a Grandchild
155.9 G
When a Loved One Dies Williams, Philip W. (Augsburg Publishing House, 1976)

Experiencing loss, having and showing feelings, re-examining attitudes and beliefs -- all are necessary. To grieve and go through bereavement is to move from hurt to health.

  • Historical
242.4 W
When a Man Faces Grief / A Man You Know is Grieving Golden, Thomas R. (Willowgreen Puslishing, 1998)

Two books in one. One half is for men who are grieving, with 12 helpful suggestions, each a chapter by itself. The other half is for those who want to understand and help men who are grieving, also in twelve short, helpful chapters.

  • Men and Grief / Helping a Friend
155.9 G
When a Person Dies: pastoral theology in death experiences Kinast, Robert L. (Cross Road, 1984)

About the impact of our death upon God, and how God in turn impacts our death with profound meaning.

  • Religious
236.1 K
When Bad Things Happen To Good People Kushner, Harold S. (Schocken Books, 1981)

… A book that could be given to the person who has been hurt by life and who knows in his heart that if there is justice in the world, he deserves better.

  • Religious
296.3 K
When Courage Lies in Letting Go Davis, Deborah L., Ph.D. (Centering Corporation, 2000)

This gentle, parent-friendly book affirms parents who are considering palliative care, or have already decided against continued aggressive medical intervention for their dying child. Listen to the stories of parents who have been there. Read about what "medical miracles" can really mean, and know that your decisions come from love, devotion, and the courage that lies in letting go.

  • Death of a Partner
When Grief Breaks Your Heart Moore, James W. (Abingdon Press, 1995)

Explores how our faith can help us through these difficult times. Stories from the lives of everyday people illustrate how we can find the comfort and healing that come only from God.

  • Religious
248.8 M
When Grief Comes: finding strength for today and hope for tomorrow Neely, Kirk H. (Baker Books, 2007)

Neely offers personal stories and practical information to help the reader understand each stage and phase of grief. He also suggests symbols of hope to assure God’s care and concern along the way and includes a special section on the needs of grieving children. Neely always points the reader toward the ultimate hope for Christians-eternal life in heaven, including a joyful reunion with those who believe.

  • Religious
248.8 N
When I'm Alone: thoughts and prayers that comfort DelBene, Ron (The Upper Room, 1988)

Words of consolation, prayer and scripture for someone who's in the midst of distress and discouragement.

When Life is Hard MacDonald, James (Moody Publishers., 2010)

Author, James MacDonald reflects on difficult trials in his lifetime and points readers to God’s Word to make sense of their suffering. This interactive book helps readers to find an understanding of their trials through scripture and personal experience.

  • Religious
248.8 M
When Someone Dies Jackson, Edgar N. (Fortress Press, 1971)

Jackson emphasizes the skills and insights that help us work through the grief process. He considers the different ways death affects each person, as well as some aspects of grief common to everyone.

  • Historical
242.4 J
When Will I Stop Hurting?: dealing with a recent death Kolf, June Cerza (Baker Book House, 1995)

Provides helpful advice for those who are grieving – and it is given in a manner which is both professional and practical.

155.9 K
When You Don’t Know What to Say: how to help your grieving friends Smith, Harold Ivan (Beacon Hill Press, 2002)

Sharing another's grief is not about "fixing it"--it's about showing up. Harold Ivan Smith, popular speaker and grief educator, guides you in responding with your heart. He shows you tangible, meaningful ways to make a significant difference as you journey through grief with someone you care about.

  • Helping a Friend
248.8 S
When You Lose Someone You Love Exley, Richard (Honor Books, 1995)

Writing a series of heart-to-heart letters, best-selling author Richard Exley draws on years of pastoral ministry to give you the comfort of a true friend. Most importantly, you’ll find how the mercy and grace of God provide the promise of eternal life.

  • Religious
242.4 E
When Your Friend Dies Smith, Harold Ivan (Augsburg Fortress, 2002)

The author explores the concept of “friendgrief” and offers compassionate guidance for those who have suffered the death of a friend and yearn to come to terms with their loss.

  • Death of a Friend
When Your Marriage Dies: practical answers when divorce seems inevitable Petherbridge, Laura (Life Journey, 2005)

Regardless of who filed and for what reason, divorce causes a grief unlike any other. There is loss on both sides, and sometimes a feeling of not knowing how to be single. Author Laura Petherbridge has been there, and shares her own foolish mistakes. A veteran of Christian ministry, she directs the reader to biblical preventions and solutions to these common mistakes.

  • Divorce
248.8 P
Ye Shall Be Comforted Rogers, William F. (Westminster Press, 1950)

Offers positive help with the problem of how to understand and meet the experience of sorrow.

  • Historical
242 R
YOGA for grief and loss Helbert, Karla (Singing Dragon, 2016)

Just as grief is an experience that affects us physically, mentally, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually, yoga sustains and strengthens us in all of those same areas. This book demonstrates how the principles and practices of yoga can help relieve symptoms of grief allowing those who have experienced loss to move toward wholeness, peace, and feelings of connection with loved ones who have died.

615.8 H
You And Your Grief Jackson, Edgar N. (Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1962)

A book to give to the mourner; it will enable the reader to face the enormous difficulties of today and be ready for tomorrow.

  • Historical
157 J
You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding Peace After a Breakup, Divorce, or Death Hay, Louise and Kessler, David (Hay House Publishing, 2014)

Louise and David discuss the emotions and thoughts that occur when a relationship leaves you brokenhearted, a marriage ends in divorce, or a loved one dies. They will also help you develop greater self-awareness and compassion, providing you with the courage and tools to face many other types of losses and challenges, such as saying good-bye to a beloved pet, losing your job, coming to terms with a life-threatening illness or disease, and much more.

  • All Losses
155.9 H
Your Grief, Your Way Forsythia, Shelby (Zeitgeist, 2020)

Everyone experiences grief differently after the loss of a loved one. Some people find solace in comforting quotes and warm words, while others feel a need to take action--to do something to memorialize their loss. And some benefit from both approaches. Here's a path forward for you, no matter how you process your grief.

155.9 F