21 Books and Poems for Grief

Maybe losing a loved one is a part of life for which we can’t fully prepare, but the universality of dying—and grief—is one of the things that connects us as humans. Listening to Dr. Lucy Kalanithi’s conversation with our chief content officer, Elise Loehnen, about what happens in the end, we were reminded that living is different from being alive. Kalanithi is a clinical assistant professor of medicine at Stanford and a general practitioner interested in end-of-life care. She’s also the widow of Dr. Paul Kalanithi, the author of the number one New York Times–bestselling memoir When Breath Becomes Air. They’ve shown us that truly entering into grief requires courage—and that it can be a beautiful and powerful experience. We asked Lucy Kalanithi to share the books that she and Paul loved, the ones they leaned on to get there.

Poems paul loved

Books Paul loved

Poems Lucy loves

Books Lucy loves

Related: Facing Death