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

Advanced Search

Title Author Description Category Topics Location
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 Breath Becomes Air Kalanithi, Paul (Random House, 2016)

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

  • Death of a Partner
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 Dinosaurs Die: a guide to understanding death Brown, Laurie Krasny and Marc Brown (Hachette Book Group, 1996, 2009)

Ages 5-8. Unlike many books on death for little ones, this one doesn't tell a story. Instead, it addresses children's fears and curiosity head-on, and in a largely secular fashion, by answering some very basic questions: "Why does someone die?" "What does dead mean?" "What comes after death?" Other questions deal with emotions, and there's a section about death customs.

155.9 B
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 Hello Means Goodbye Schwiebert, Pat and Paul Kirk (Grief Watch, 2015)

A guide for parents whose child dies before birth, at birth or shortly after birth. This sensitive booklet is a help to families during the early days of their grief. It helps answer questions and prepare parents for the days ahead.

  • Miscarriage / Stillbirth / Early Infant Death
155.9 S
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 I'm With Jesus Rae, Kimberly (Narrow Way Publishing, 2013)

Children wonder about Heaven, especially when someone they love goes there. They have questions they are often afraid to ask to grieving adults. This book is created to minister to young children and older children, with large text for young readers or as a read-to book, and smaller text for older readers. It helps children see a loved one's transition to Heaven as a joyful thing, and know they are still loved, even when that person is no longer near.

  • Religious
j236.24 R
When it Gets Dark: an enlightened reflection on life with Alzheimer’s DeBaggio, Thomas (Free Press, 2003)

Charting the progression of his own disease with breathtaking honesty, DeBaggio deftly describes the frustration, grief, and terror of grappling with his deteriorating intellectual faculties. Even more affecting, the prose itself masterfully represents the mental vicissitudes of his disease--DeBaggio's fragments of memory, observation, and rumination surface and subside in the reader's experience much as they might in his own mind. His frank, lilting voice and abundant sense of wonder bind these fragments into a fluid and poetic portrait of life and loss.

B362.1 D
When Life Becomes Precious: A Guide for Loved Ones and Friends of Cancer Patients Babcock, Elise NeeDell (Bantom Books, 1997)

This book will teach readers to assess and put into perspective, their own feelings about the disease so that they can truly help those who are afflicted with it. The use of cartoons, anecdotes and personal stories will set an upbeat and positive tone.

362.1 B
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 Mom Or Dad Dies: a book of comfort for kids Grippo, Daniel (Abbey Press, 2008)

Ages 4 and up. When Mom or Dad dies, children grieve deeply. But we can show our care and love for them by encouraging them to share their feelings of sorrow and loss. We can give them the time and space they need to adjust and listen to—if not answer—their questions. We can let them know that they can heal and live a happy, full life of faith, hope, and love—the kind of life their Mom or Dad want for them. We can listen to their hurt and respond in a loving and supportive way.

  • Death of a Parent
j155.9 G
When Mom's Cancer Doesn’t Go Away: Helping Children Cope with Loss and Beyond Makekau, Maryann (Little Pink Book, 2010)

Losing your mother to cancer is never easy, no matter what your age. But for a child, the loss is incomprehensible. The time together, special experiences, and memories are much too abbreviated. Perhaps the most difficult of all, is the loss of a mother's love. The Little Pink Book™ series explores cancer through the eyes of a child using whimsical stick characters and an unpretentious storyline. Death and loss are not easily talked about, yet they are events that all of us must eventually face.

  • Death of a Mother
jF M
When Mourning Breaks: coping with miscarriage Hanson, Melissa Sexson (Morehouse Publishing, 1998)

Here, finally, is a book for grieving parents that acknowledges their pain and offers encouragement for the future. In these meditations and prayers based on biblical passages, Melissa Sexson Hanson writes honestly and movingly of her own grief during two miscarriages and of the difficulty of the recovery process. She also describes clearly the faithfulness of God's healing presence in her life, providing a sense of hope to all those seeking comfort after a similar loss.

  • Miscarriage
242.4 H
When Northing Matters Anymore: a survival guide for depressed teens Cobain, Bev (Free Spirit Publishing, 2007)

When Nothing Matters Anymore defines and explains adolescent depression, reveals how common it is, describes the symptoms, and spreads the good news that depression is treatable. Personal stories, photos, and poetry from teens dealing with depression speak directly to readers' feelings, concerns, and experiences.

155.9 C
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 Someone Dies: A Child-Caregiver Activity Book The National Alliance for Children's Grief

An activity book for a child and their caregiver to do together to help facilitate grieving a death together.

When Someone You Love Dies Coleman, William L. (Augsburg Fortress, 1994)

Writing for children ages 8-12 and their parents, Coleman discusses the fears and questions that young people have when someone they love dies.

j155.9 C
When Someone You Love Has Alzheimer’s: the caregiver’s journey Grollman, Earl A. and Kenneth S. Kosik, M.D. (Beacon Press, 1996)

Provides emotional support and answers to vital questions: How is Alzheimer’s diagnosed and treated? How should I handle my loved one’s strange behavior? How can I balance my loved one’s needs with my own? Includes a list of resources.

362.1 G
When Someone You Love Has Cancer: a guide to help kids cope Lewis, Alaric (Abby Press, 2005)

Ages 4-8. This book will help kids cope with the presence of cancer in their lives. May it guide them to a healthier understanding of how the disease affects their loved one, their family, and their world. May it offer-as much as is possible-a little healing in the midst of sickness.

  • Cancer
616.99 L
When The Bough Breaks: forever after the death of a son or daughter Bernstein, Judith R. (Andrews and McMeel, 1997)

A sensitive book that offers bereaved parents the comfort of knowing how others have navigated this rutted road. Acknowledges that no family ever "recovers" from this tragedy, but rather adapts to a life irretrievably altered.

155.9 B
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 Winter Follows Spring Ferguson, Dorothy (Centering Corporation, 2002)

The death of a child at any age seems a most cruel reversal of nature. This gentle book includes: helping yourself when it hurts, the grief journey, the layers of loss, other family members, the wounded spirit and caring for yourself.

155.9 F
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 You Wish Upon A Star Washington, Ned (Green Tiger Press, 1987)

Ages 5-9. A beautifully illustrated picture book to the words of the childhood song, “When You Wish Upon a Star”

jF W
When You’re Ill Or Incapacitated / When You’re The Caregiver Miller, James E. (Willowgreen Publishing, 1995)

Two books in one. Twelve suggestions to help someone who is sick, injured or otherwise disabled and twelve suggestions for the caregiver.

362.1 M
When Your Child Loses a Loved One Huntley, Theresa (Augsburg, 2001)

Death is hard enough for adults to accept. For children, the experience of loss can be overwhelming. In this concise, practical guide, grief counselor Huntley offers principles for helping children of all ages understand death, work through predictable "tasks of grieving," and take steps toward healing and acceptance.

155.9 H
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 Loved One is Dying Grollman, Earl A. (Beacon Press, 1980)

Helps you make the important decisions that will allow your loved one to face death with courage and dignity – and you to continue living a full life.

155.9 G
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
When Your Pet Dies: a guide to mourning, remembering, and healing Wolfelt, Alan D., Ph.D. (Companion Press, 2004)

This book affirms the pet owner's grief and helps you understand why your feelings are so strong. It also offers practical suggestions for mourning—expressing your grief outside of yourself—so that you can heal. Ideas for remembering and memorializing your pet are also included.

155.9 W
Where Has Grandpa Gone?: helping children cope with grief and loss Kopp, Ruth (Zondervan Publishing House, 1983)

Covers a wide range of questions and concerns to help us guide children through trials and time of loss.

  • Death of a Grandparent
155.9 K
Where the Balloons Go Coleman, Paul (Centering Corporation, 1983)

Elementary age children. Corey and his grandmother love to watch balloons floating up to the sky, and when she dies, Corey thinks of a special way to say goodbye.

  • Death of a Grandparent
jF C
Where's Our Baby? Oldfield, Valerie (Xlibris LLC, 2014)

A story about a little boy trying to make sense surrounding the death of his baby sister. After no one tells him what happened, he must ask questions to the adults around him and find a way to interpret the things they do and say in order to find out the truth.

  • Death of a Baby Sibiling
jf O
Who Lives Happily Ever After? Turnbull, Sharon (Centering Corporation, 1990, rev. ed., 1994)

The author explores the rage, injustice, secondary blame, the media and legal system. Fits all violent death.

  • Death of a Grandparent
Why Do I Feel So Sad? Lamber, Tracy

An Inclusive, age-appropriate, illustrated kid's book designed to help young children understand their own grief.

jF L
Why is Dad so Mad? Kastle, Seth (Tall Tale Press, 2015)

Is a story for children in military families whose parent battles with combat related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Why Is Dad So Mad? Is a narrative story told from a family’s point of view (mother and children) of a service member who struggles with PTSD and its symptoms. Many service members deal with anger, forgetfulness, sleepless nights, and nightmares.This book explains these and how they affect Dad. The moral of the story is that even though Dad gets angry and yells, he still loves his family more than anything.

  • Military / PTSD
jF K
Widow Next Door, The: Learning to live again as a young widow and single mom after losing my husband to suicide Cruz, Heather (The Happy Self Publisher, 2018)

My name is Heather and this is my story. It follows me from marrying my best friend and succeeding through an infertility struggle, to becoming a widow and ultimately a single mother. This is the journal of my life after losing the love of my life to mental illness and suicide. My hope is to help others out there who may be travelling a similar path as I am.

  • Suicide
Widow To Widow: how the bereaved help one another Silverman, Phyllis (Brunner-Routledge, 2004)

Shares the experiences of widows who have found comfort and continuity in mutual-help and community support programs. Brings the success of the original widow-to-widow program into the 21st century, preparing a new generation of community leaders, clergy, counselors, hospice staff, social workers, and the widowed themselves to organize and implement mutual-help programs.

306.88 S
Widow To Widow: thoughtful, practical ideas for rebuilding your life Ginsburg, Genevieve Davis (DaCapo Press, 1997)

Author, therapist, and fellow widow Genevieve Davis Ginsburg offers you-as well as your family and friends-sage advice for coping with the loss of a husband. This book equips you with the gentle encouragement and practical strategies you need to start along the path to building a new life.

306.88 G
Widow’s World, A Mattern, Ivan G and Lois Allen (A Care Giver’s, Inc., 1975)

Practical suggestions for the newly widowed.

  • Historical
396 M
Widowed Parents Unite 52 Tips to Get Through the First Year Lisk, Jenny

Widowed Parents Unite is more than a book-it's a lifeline. Within its pages, you'll meet parents who've lost their spouses to unforeseen tragedies, from sudden accidents, to relentless illnesses. Their stories resonate deeply, providing both solace and advice.

155.9 L
Widower, The Kohn, Jane Burgess (Beacon Press, 1978)

…to show widowers how others were coping with problems they, too, were experiencing.

  • Historical
155.9 K
Widows Can Cope: how to cope with widowhood Dube, Edna (Bob's Press, 1975)

Step by step information to aid a woman in her new role as widow.

  • Historical
396 D
Winter Holding Spring Dragonwagon, Crescent (Macmillan Publishing Company, 1990)

Ages 7-10. In discussing her mother's death with her father, 11 year old Sarah comes to see that in endings there are new beginnings, that in winter there is promise of spring, and that everything comes full circle.

  • Death of a Mother
jF D
Worst Loss, The: how families heal from the death of a child Rosof, Barbara (Henry Holt and Company, 1994)

The author draws on families’ own stories and groundbreaking research on grieving, to answer questions like, “How do families survive this worst loss?"

155.9 R
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
Year Of Magical Thinking, The Didion, Joan (Vintage Books, 2006)

From one of America’s most iconic writers a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience – her husband’s sudden death. This book will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.

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 Are Not Alone: Stories by Young Teens Who Have Experienced the Death of a Sibiling Brooke's Place (Inkwater Press, 2019)

A collection of stories by young teens who have experienced the death of a sibiling

  • Death of a Sibling
155.9 B
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
You Don’t Have To Be Afraid: helping children cope with fear Blake, Chris (American Bible Society)

This book will help children see how much god loves them and how God works through people to provide comfort and hope. They are not alone in feeling afraid.

You Matter Robinson, Christian (Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing Division, 2020)

In this full, bright, and beautiful picture book, many different perspectives around the world are deftly and empathetically explored—from a pair of bird-watchers to the pigeons they’re feeding. Young readers will be drawn into the luminous illustrations inviting them to engage with the world in a new way and see how everyone is connected, and that everyone matters.

jF R
Your Aging Parents: reflections for caregivers Grollman, Earl A. and Sharon Grollman (Beacon Press, 1997)

Father and daughter explore ways to communicate with and care for aging parents while finding the support you need to adjust to new responsibilities and roles.

  • Aging Parents
306.874 G
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
Youth Suicide Peck, Michael L., Ph.D., et al. (Springer Publishing Company, 1985)

Information intended to assist mental health professionals to increase their knowledge of advances in the field of youth suicide.

  • Suicide / Professional
362.2 P