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Books on Grieving
By Daryl Malena

The task of eventually moving out of the house my family has lived in since 1977 turns out to be every bit as difficult as I expected. Thankfully I realized that I am not taking 1000 books to my daughter’s house (she has her own library problem), and I discovered that quite a number of them actually could be of use to others if they were in the church library.

Audrey and I had to deal with a number of miscarriages before Rachel and Sarah were born. The experience never got easier. And when Rachel died less than a year after she was married, I was not sure that I would survive the loss. In fact, I had a unique kind of heart attack—now known as a Takotsubo event—also known as broken heart syndrome. It hurt for weeks and weeks and I formed a lot of scar tissue on the back of my heart. It was difficult. Our Christmas tree was still in the living room until April.

Audrey and started every morning with time together at the kitchen table. But we found slightly different ways to process our grief. I found that I needed to write about it, beginning with a volume of letters to Rachel, each with a prayer attached. Audrey chose to study the process itself, and her family therapy practice leaned toward helping others deal with the death of a child.

As a result, together we acquired a serious pile of books. Books that simply will not fit into Sarah’s house in Maryland. Faced with another sort of loss, I realized that quite a few are the sort of titles that I would look for a church library.  And thankfully, others seem to agree. Now I am getting plenty of exercise carrying books up and down and then up the stairs again at church.

So far about 200 titles address the issue of grief, especially associated with children. About ten are books written for children. The Fall of Freddy the Leaf is one of my favorites. Aarvy Aardvark Finds Hope is another. These and many, many others from our library will soon be, or are already, available in the church library.



421 South 36th Street, Omaha Nebraska, 68131
(Located at the corner of 36th and Harney Streets)






First Central Congregational Church