How do we live after death?

Stories of Grief

My Brother's Shadow

Avery, Tom. My Brother’s Shadow. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2014.

“Eleven-year-old Kaia, who has felt emotionally isolated since her brother’s suicide, befriends a wild boy who mysteriously appears at her London school, finding a way to communicate with him despite his being mute.” – CIP [England}

The Crow-girl

Bredsdorff, Bodil. The Crow-girl. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2004.

“After the death of her grandmother, a young orphaned girl leaves her house by the cove and begins a journey which leads her to people and experiences that exemplify the wisdom her grandmother had shared with her.” – CIP.  [Denmark]


If I Stay

Forman, Gayle. If I Stay. New York: Speak, 2010, c2009.

“While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weights whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.” – CIP. [Oregon]

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” – C.S. Lewis


Moon Pie

Mason, Simon. Moon Pie. New York: David Fickling Books, 2011.

“Eleven-year-old Martha tries to keep her family together after her mother’s death as her father struggles with alcoholism.” – CIP.  [England]

Bridge to Terabithia

Paterson, Katherine. Bridge to Terabithia. New York: Scholastic, 1977.

” Living in rural Virginia, ten-year-old Jess and Leslie become special friends as they create a magical secret world that they call Terabithia. But when a tragic accident causes Leslie’s death during a storm, Jess is forced to face life alone.” – CIP. [Virginia]

A Perfect Gentle Knight

 Pearson, Kit. A Perfect Gentle Knight. Toronto: Puffin, 2007.

The six Bell children grieve their mother’s death and try to cope with their father’s increasing remoteness from the family as he immerses himself in work.  [Vancouver, B.C.]

“Great grief does not of itself put an end to itself.” –  Lucius Annaeus Seneca


Missing May

Rylant, Cynthia. Missing May. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, [1993], c1992.

” After the death of the beloved aunt who has raised her, twelve-year-old Summer and her uncle Ob leave their West Virginia trailer in search of the strength to go on living.” – CIP.  [West Virginia]


Between Shades of Gray 

Sepetys, Ruta. Between Shades of Gray. New York: Speak, 2012, c2011.

“In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author’s family, includes a historical note.” – CIP.  For mature readers.  [Russia]

Spinelli, Jerry. Eggs. New York: Little, Brown, 2008, c2007.

“Mourning the loss of his mother, nine-year-old David forms an unlikely friendship with independent, quirky thirteen-year-old Primrose, as the two help each other deal with what is missing in their lives.” – CIP. [Pennsylvania]

The Center of Everything

Urban, Linda. The Center of Everything. Boston: Harcourt Children’s Books, 2013.

Grieving for her grandmother, twelve-year-old Ruby prepares to read her award-winning essay at the annual parade honouring her town’s founder, the inventor of a doughnut with a hole in the middle. Moving backwards and forwards through time with references to mathematics and ancient cultures and explorers, this novel will be appreciated by readers 11-years-old and up who have enjoyed stories by Ruth White.  [New Hampshire]


Behind You

 Woodson, Jacqueline. Behind You. New York: Puffin Books, 2010, c2004.

“After fifteen-year-old Jeremiah is mistakenly shot by police, the people who love him struggle to cope with their loss as they recall his life and death, unaware that ‘Miah is watching over them.” – CIP. [New York City]

“I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief… For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” Wendell Berry



With that one word,

He swallows the emotion and pushes it forward:

“There’s no word for what happens to you.”

“There’s no good side of it.”

His voice cracks and an avalanche of tears tumbles down his face. 

I close my eyes;

I cover my ears;

I cannot hear this.

(by Neve from If I Stay by Gayle Forman)

More ‘found’ poems HERE