Losing a parent can be one of the toughest experiences we go through. Losing a father can be especially difficult to navigate, and it can vary from person to person, depending on the type of relationship we had with them. Many of us look up to our fathers for guidance, care, and support throughout our lives. When facing such a deep loss, it can be difficult to know how to cope. This where these books about fathers and grief can help.

Losing a father can also be complicated if we didn’t have the best relationship with them, or no relationship at all. Like our articles about the Best Books About Mothers & Grief, and the Best Books to Help You Deal With Grief, The Best Books About Fathers and Grief are intended to help guide and inspire after the loss of a father. 

Any suggestions? Let us know in the comments!

Best Books About Fathers and Grief

Mary Gordon – Final Payments

Mary Gordon’s novel, Final Payments is a moving exploration of friendship and personal reinvention. At the heart of the novel are questions about complicated grief and loss. After 11 years of painstaking care for her dying father, Isabel Moore’s father finally passes away. Isabel suddenly finds herself without structure and meaning, since the source for it has died. What follows is her journey of self-actualization with the help of friends, including all the challenges that come with grief and life.

Get it online here

Alan Wolfelt – Healing the Adult Child’s Grieving Heart

Alan Wolfelt

via www.amazon.com

Healing the Adult Child's Grieving Heart by Alan Wolfelt

Alan Wolfelt is a prolific writer and well-known expert on grief and grief counselling. In this excellent book, Wolfelt provides simple and practical ideas for how to cope with the loss of a father. Wolfelt’s advice is intended for those who lose a parent when they, themselves, are also an adult. The book is divided by topic, each of which is addressed on a page or two. This format, and Wolfelt’s academic background and personal experience, make this book a comprehensive and useful read. 

Get it online here

Alexandra Kennedy – Losing a Parent

Alexandra Kennedy

via www.bookpassage.com

Losing a Parent by Alexandra Kennedy

Alexandra Kennedy is a well known author on the topic of grief and loss. In this book, she speaks about the more broad experience of losing a parent. Such a loss is incredibly personal, and can be very overwhelming. It leaves one’s life transformed, and it is often difficult to know how to adjust to life without one’s parent. Kennedy’s book is aimed at helping to guide you through this transition into a life without your parent with you. 

Get it online here

Elyce Wakerman – Father Loss

via www.pbs.twimg.com

Father Loss by Elyce Wakerman

This fascinating book examines the various and unique ways that daughters experience and respond to the loss of their father. Something that makes Wakerman’s books especially unique, is her decision to discuss the different ways one can lose a father (through death, divorce, and abandonment). By conducting and comparing numerous interviews with women who have lost their fathers, Wakerman’s book is a thorough and multifaceted examination.

Get it online here

Beth Erickson – Longing for Dad

Beth Erickson

via www.amazon.com

Longing for Dad by Beth Erickson

Beth Erickson explores the various ways that losing a father can impact how we carry out our lives. This kind of loss tends to leave a lasting mark on our hearts and minds. Erickson calls the void that is created by these feelings “father hunger.” Because of this, the experience of losing a father tends to change over time as we change as individuals, and our other relationships change. Erickson’s book, then, aims at addressing this change, and how we can deal with it, day by day. 

Get it online here.

Kevin Young – The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing

Sometimes the best way to understand ourselves is through the words of others. This edited volume of poetry by Kevin Young is packed with inspiration and mediations on loss and grief. There are 150 poems in Young’s anthology and each one will speak to you differently. Themes include, but are not limited to: reckoning, remembrance, rituals, recovery, and redemption. Authors include: Sharon Olds Mary Oliver, Robert Pinsky, Adrienne Rich, Theodore Roethke, Anne Sexton, Wallace Stevens and Dylan Thomas.

Get it online here.

Harold Ivan Smith – On Grieving the Death of a Father

Harold Ivan Smith fathers grief

via www.crossroadpublishing.com

On Grieving the Death of a Father by Harold Ivan Smith

Generally speaking, there are not as many comprehensive books about fathers and grief. However, Harold Ivan Smith presents us with one of the few (and most widely read) pieces of writing on this subject. Drawing up the experiences of a number of well-known individuals, such as Frederick Buechner, Corrie ten Boom, and James Dobson, Smith’s book serves as a source of comfort for those who are experiencing similar emotions and experiences. 

Get it online here

Allison Gilbert – Passed and Present

Allison Gilbert fathers grief

via www.marinjcc.org

Passed and Present by Allison GilbertAllison Gilbert is the renowned author of other grief-related publications, such as Parentless Parents. In her most recent book, Passed and Present, Gilbert presents us with a brilliant yet simple guide to finding different creative and meaningful ways to preserve the memory of those we have loved and lost. This book is an excellent read for those who are seeking ways to celebrate and honour the memory of their loved one.

Get it online here

We hope these Books About Fathers and Grief can help you during your bereavement journey. We also have a list for those grieving the loss of a mother, and books about death and dying.


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