Recommended Reading

The following collection of resources provides information to support people facing a life-changing illness—their own or that of someone they love. This list includes books and websites on the following topics: Caregiving, Expressing What Matters Most, Living with Serious Illness, and Grieving. We hope that you find them helpful.

  • Caregiving

  • Share The Care
    How to Organize a Group to Care for Someone Who Is Seriously Ill

    Detailing their personal experience with a seriously ill friend, the authors demonstrate how the aphorism "many hands make light work" holds true. By developing "caring networks," the work is spread among friends, neighbors, and family members, alleviating stress on the primary caregiver and providing peace of mind to the patient. This book includes sample forms and checklists, allowing readers to use it as a springboard to create their own group and providing practical advice and reassurance.

  • How to Care for Aging Parents
    "The book provides a road map to assist adult children in caring for their aging parents. The topics covered include the concrete, practical areas such as home care, finances, nursing homes/hospitals, legal issues, and medical/safety concerns as well as the psychosocial areas of handling emotions, dealing with death and dying, sibling conflicts, and spiritual needs." --Library Journal

  • Being a Compassionate Companion
    Frank Ostaseski shows us how to draw on our innate wisdom, compassion and generosity to assist in the journey of continuous discovery that begins with the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness. In an intimate conversational style, Frank shares deeply moving stories from 20 years of caring for the dying. It will be profoundly useful to those accompanying someone facing death, those coming to terms with loss and to anyone wishing to open fully to life.

  • Expressing What Matters Most

  • Go Wish Game
    Go Wish gives you an easy, even entertaining way to talk about what is most important to you. The cards help you find words to talk about what is important if you were to be living a life that may be shortened by serious illness. Playing the game with your relatives or best friends can help you learn how you can best comfort your loved ones when they need you most.

  • The Four Things That Matter Most
    A Book about Living

    Four simple phrases -- "Please forgive me," "I forgive you," "Thank you," and "I love you" -- carry enormous power. In many ways, they contain the most powerful words in our language. These four phrases provide us with a clear path to emotional wellness; they guide us through the thickets of interpersonal difficulties to a conscious way of living that is full of integrity and grace.

  • The Etiquette of Illness
    What to Say When You Can't Find the Words

    Halpern, a psychotherapist, social worker and founder of the New York Cancer Help Program, shares here her considerable expertise on how best to comfort a close friend, colleague or relation who is living with a serious physical or mental illness. Practical suggestions are illustrated by compelling stories from her professional life, as well as from her own experiences after being diagnosed with low-grade lymphoma in 1995.

  • Living with Serious Illness

  • Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief
    Guided Practices for Reclaiming Your Body and Your Life

    Mindfulness can transform pain. Over the past three decades, Jon Kabat-Zinn has clinically proven it. With Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief, the man who brought mindfulness into mainstream medicine presents on audio his original practices for using conscious awareness to free us from physical and emotional suffering.

  • Leaves Falling Gently
    Living Fully with Serious & Life-Limiting Illness Through Mindfulness, Compassion & Connectedness

    A life-limiting illness may have taken hold of your body, but you can still live more fully and openly than ever before. You can enrich your life by exploring ways to make peace with yourself and deepen connections with friends and family. This book will help you reap the benefits of mindfulness and acceptance, one day at a time.

  • How to Be Sick
    A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers

    "How does one face a chronic illness? In 2001 law professor Bernhard became sick from a virus that no doctor has been able to treat. Faced with ongoing disabling symptoms, forced to give up her profession, and unable to take part in most of the activities she loves, Bernhard has dug into the roots of the Buddhism she once studied intensively, looking for resources to cope with such devastating loss." --Publishers Weekly

  • Grieving

  • Tear Soup
    If you are going to buy only one book on grief, this is the one to get! It will validate your grief experience, and you can share it with your children. You can leave it on the coffee table so others will pick it up, read it, and then better appreciate your grieving time.

  • The Courage to Grieve
    The Classic Guide to Creative Living, Recovery, and Growth Through Grief

    Each of us will face some loss, sorrow and disappointment in our lives, and The Courage to Grieve provides the specific help we need to enable us to face our grief fully and to recover and grow from the experience. Judy Tatelbaum provides excellent advice on how to help oneself and others get through the immediate experience of death and the grief that follows, as well as how to understand the special grief of children.

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