A Piece Of My Heart

A book tracing the courage and experiences of parents after the deaths of their beloved children. Written by bereaved parents ‘A Piece of My Heart – surviving the death of a son or a daughter’ tells their stories of the loss and grief that changed their lives forever. The writers all met at a Bereaved Parents Support Group and each chapter in this unique book records seven different experiences of a specific issue that is common to all grieving parents. 

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Resilient Grieving: Finding Strength and Embracing Life After a Loss That Changes Everything by Lucy Hone PhD (Author), Karen Reivich PhD (Foreword)

Author and resilience/well-being expert Lucy Hone, a pioneer in fusing positive psychology and bereavement research, was faced with her own inescapable sorrow when, in 2014, her 12-year-old daughter was killed in a South Island car accident. By following the strategies of resilient grieving, she found a proactive way to move through her grief, and, over time, embrace life again.

Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy by Mo Gawdat

Mo Gawdat is a remarkable thinker and the Chief Business Officer at Google’s [X]. Applying his superior skills of logic and problem solving to the issue of happiness, he proposes an algorithm based on an understanding of how the brain takes in and processes joy and sadness. Thirteen years later, Mo’s algorithm would be put to the ultimate test. After the sudden death of his son, Ali, Mo and his family turned to his equation—and it saved them from despair.

Grief and loss in a culture that ‘moves on’: ‘It's Ok That You're Not Ok’ by Megan Devine, Mark Nepo

Having experienced grief from both sides, as both a therapist and as a woman who witnessed the accidental drowning of her partner, Megan writes with deep insight about the unspoken truths of loss, love, and healing. She debunks the culturally prescribed goal of returning to a normal, "happy" life with one that invites us to build a life alongside grief rather than seeking to overcome it.

For children +6 years bereaved by suicide: ‘Luna’s Red Hat’ by Emmi Smid (2015)

This book is designed to be read with children aged 6 years and over who have experienced the loss of a family member by suicide. It addresses issues such as grief and sadness, anger, anxiety, guilt and depression, as Luna talks to her father on the anniversary of her mother’s death.

Grief On The Run by Julie Zarifeh

Julie Zarifeh shares the tragic story of losing her 27-year-old son, Sam, in a whitewater rafting accident just sixteen days after her 60-year-old husband, Paul, died of pancreatic cancer.

Julie's account of learning to live with grief, plus her experience as a clinical psychologist, makes this an inspirational and ultimately uplifting read.

Books on Prescription (New Zealand)

'Read  or listen yourself well' is a New Zealand based programme run by WellSouth Primary Health Network and the libraries of Otago and Southland to increase access to high quality health information. The books, videos and smartphone app resources have been recommended and reviewed by New Zealand health professionals and users. Resources cover mental health, grief, loss and depression for adults and young people. Request any books of interest from your local library.

For parents after the death of a child: ‘What Abi taught us’ by Dr Lucy Hone

The inspiring story of how New Zealander Lucy Hone coped with the tragic death of her 12-year old daughter Abi in a car accident and how strategies from the science of resilient grieving can help anyone face an equally helpless situation. Lucy works in the field of resilience psychology, helping ordinary people exposed to real-life traumatic situations.

The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss by George A. Bonanno

In this title, a leading expert in the field of emotions research challenges the conventional model of the 'Five Stages of Grief' offering fascinating new insights on the bereavement process and the ways in which we find positive meaning in loss. In "The Other Side of Sadness", psychologist and emotions expert George Bonanno highlights a complete rejection of the widely accepted theory of grief model established by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, which notes five distinct stages we go through during loss and bereavement. 

Reimagining life after loss: ‘Dream New Dreams’ by Jai Pausch

The widow of ‘The Last Lecture’s’ author Randy Pausch shares her own story from wife and mother to full-time caregiver, shuttling between her three young children and Randy’s bedside before he died. Jai hopes to inspire the readers who made 'The Last Lecture' a bestseller, but also those who are embarking on a journey of loss and renewal themselves.

‘Finding Davey - A father's search for his son in the afterlife’ by David Reese Alison III 

When David Alison's son died in a car accident, he did what any other parent would likely do: spiral into extraordinary grief. Though the heartbreak he experienced was profound, he could not shake the feeling that his son, Davey, was still around and trying to communicate with him.

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (2017) by authors Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandburg collaborates with top psychologist Adam Grant in this New York Times bestseller on building resilience and moving forward after traumatic loss and setbacks.  'Option B' combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Wharton psychologist Adam Grant’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity.

For young adults bereaved by suicide: ‘After the suicide of someone you know’ by Tricia Hendry and Leora Hirsh (2010)

This booklet covers the impact of a suicide on a young person, in easy to read segments. It covers the issues that arise from the time of first hearing the news of the death, to some suggestions on how to remember the person who has died. (1)

Contact Us

We don't run grief support groups, provide counselling or therapeutic advice. We do help parents connect with others and share resources.

Note: If you need urgent help, please contact your GP or head here.