Books for Survivors
Reading lists for those who are grieving
Losing loved-ones causes most people to look for peace during turmoil. For many survivors I have interviewed, the church or faith they grew up in provides a framework for their mourning process. For people who do not attend a church or belong to a religious group, family rituals, and cultural practices often provide direction for grief. Books on this list pertain to grief in general, with or without religious references, and offer consolation to all who are grieving.
Children & Teen Survivors
Books on my children’s list are primarily intended to assist parents, teachers, and other adults who are supporting children and teens who are grieving.
For many people, when a loss occurs, a hunger for a greater understanding of life beyond death becomes a primary focus. I have interviewed people who were atheists or agnostics until someone very close to them died. After the end of the earthly life of a cherished loved one, many long for a way to connect with their deceased and their search for a new view of life after death begins.
While not every seeker is a believer, most are driven to discover answers to the big questions and mysteries that for many, religion addresses. There are numerous people today that refer to themselves as “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR’s). Researchers who study members of this group tell us that SBNR’s are driven to find answers to their own spiritual questions. Longing for a personal spiritual experience is key to survivor/seekers—whether religious or not. Books on this list include discussions about spiritual experiences that may or may not include references to religion.
Books for Responders
Care and Special Assistance Team Members, as well as all first responders, other medical personnel and all who assist survivors in the acute phase of a traumatic loss.
In 2004, I published Handbook for Human Services Response, the first 16 years of interviews with survivors (those who lived through the tragedy, employees, leaders, and family members) of many types of disasters—particularly crises that occurred in the workplace. I included a chapter called Conscious Leaders. Following is the introduction to that section of the book;
I have had the opportunity to interview and work with several men and women who have become conscious of what authentic leadership is about. Honoring the trust that consumers, customers, and employees alike place in them, they value people more than money, and they allow the wisdom of the heart to guide their intellect. Humility and vulnerability are as apparent in their interviews as their compassion and a deep sense of commitment to those they serve.
Books on this list include those written by authors who promote human values that are timeless and reflect awareness that while machines and tangible objects can be replaced, human beings cannot.
Books for Seekers
Many people referred to as “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR), are eager to consider the big questions that theology attempts to answer—on their own. Interviews with SBNR’s show that some abandoned organized religion as their questions could not be explained to their satisfaction within the faith they were raised to follow. Yet, not all who are seeking a greater understanding of the big questions about life and death, have necessarily rejected organized religion. While many seekers practice a religion, the commonality they share with non-practicing religious people is that both are open to learning about various religions, Eastern philosophy, and other traditions. Many seekers who follow a specific religion, don’t feel their faith limits their opportunity to learn and grow. Seekers are intent on finding spiritual truths that resonate with them personally.
Albert Einstein said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
In my family of origin, many relatives are traditional in their beliefs and comfortable with the teachings of the religion in which they were raised. While I am a Christian, I do not feel confined nor constricted by my faith. I am not afraid to explore ideas that some more traditional religions might reject.
As a certified hypnotherapist, I have personally seen present situations healed when someone accesses memories from the past and brings to light information that has a bearing on their current problem. Thus, my willingness to read and learn about others’ experiences, that goes outside what some consider ‘normal.’
Because of their understanding about me, my life’s work, and my general open attitude, the younger generation in my family have always felt comfortable in asking me for suggestions on books to read that explores subjects like reincarnation, past-life experiences, and other topics that are accepted in the Eastern religions and Eastern philosophy in general.
The list of books that appear under this heading is intended to provide information for those open to exploring experiences which transcend the five senses. It is the sixth sense (intuition) where we often receive the help, we need during stressful life experiences. The sixth sense is associated with intuition and comes from a balanced head/heart or balanced left/right hemispheres of the human brain.
Books that appear on auntsissyreads.net are some of my favorite books that provide hope and inspiration for those who believe they are not limited to life on earth. Those who read books on this list need an open mind and a willingness to consider that there is more to life than our human experiences.