Below is a list of books that our staff recommends to help in coping with the experiences of dying, death, and grief.
Adult Books

Moments That Matter -  Finding the Grace in Living, Dying and Surviving Loss
From our Community Education Specialist, Diane Fasselius, this book is a thought-provoking read that delves into the complex world of end-of-life care. As a nurse with years of experience in chronic illness and hospice care, the author shares stories gathered personally and from co-workers into insights that offer a unique perspective on the challenges and rewards of end-of-life care.

Being Mortal—Medicine and What Matters in the End
In this bestselling book, Atul Gawande, a Boston surgeon and Harvard Medical School professor, shares research and stories that support having hard conversations with patients and families in order to honor their wishes and offer a good life—all the way to the end.

Dying Well, The Prospect for Growth at the End of Life
From Ira Byock, a prominent palliative care physician and expert in end-of-life decisions, this book brings us to the homes and bedsides of families. The author shares stories of love and reconciliation in the face of tragedy, pain, and conflict. It provides a blueprint for families, showing them how to deal with doctors, talk to friends and relatives, and make the end of life as meaningful and precious as the beginning.

Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communication of the Dying
In this moving and compassionate classic, hospice nurses Maggie Callahan and Patricia Kelley share their intimate experiences with patients at the edge of life. Their stories illuminate the near-miraculous way in which the dying communicate their needs, reveal their feelings and even choreopraph their own final moments. You will gain new insight into the leave-taking process and discover the gifts of wisdom, faith, and love that the dying leave for us.

Learning To Fall, The Blessings of an Imperfect Life
Philip Simmons was just 35-years-old when he was diagnosed with ALS. Through poignant essays, Simmons shares his spiritual journey and search for peace. He offers suggestions for connecting deeply and joyously with our own imperfect lives. This is a spirit-renewing book about learning to live richly in the face of loss.

Life Lessons, Two Experts on Death & Dying Teach Us About the Mysteries of Life & Living
Blending the words of two authors, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler, this book demonstrates lessons about love, fear, time, power, loss, authenticity, and relationships. Through many years of working with the dying, the authors learned that certain life lessons are present over and over again. This book guides readers through practical and spiritual lessons so they can heal what is broken, open themselves to happiness, and live meaningful and fulfilling lives.

The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care
Author Angelo E. Volandes, a Harvard Medical School physician, shares patients’ stories that demonstrate how conversations about life-limiting illnesses can make a difference in end-of-life care.

The Four Things That Matter Most, A Book About Living
Four simple phrases—“Please forgive me,” “I forgive you,” “Thank you,” and “I love you”—can mend and nurture our relationships and inner self. Ira Byock, a palliative care physician, discusses how practicing these life-affirming words can help us live more fully. This book reminds us that our most valuable possessions are not things, but rather, the well-being of our mind and body and the relationships we have with those we love.

The Needs of the Dying, A Guide for Bringing Hope, Comfort, and Love to Life’s Final Chapter
In this book, David Kessler, who has coauthored with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, identifies key areas of concern and reflection over the mysterious and beautiful moments that await us all. Using comforting and touching stories, he provides information to help us meet the needs of a loved one at this important time in life.

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson 
In this incredible treasure, Mitch Albom shares the story of a great teacher and a source of enlightenment. Twenty years after graduating from college, sports columnist, Mitch Albom, reconnects with his former professor, Morrie Schwartz. Knowing Morrie is dying, Mitch visits every Tuesday to experience one final class with his mentor—a lesson in how to live.

Children Books
Always Remember
This beautifully illustrated picture book brings comfort to children who have lost someone they love. The story is a celebration of life. After the Turtle dies, his friends remember the experiences they had with him and take comfort in those memories.
The Invisible String
In this book, a mother tells her two children that everyone is connected by an invisible string. Even though you cannot see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart. This heartwarming picture book for all ages explores questions about the unbreakable connections between us and leads to deeper conversations about love.
The Dragonfly Door
This award-winning book explores the transformation of a dragonfly. This tender story about loss and change was written to help parents express their views about life and death and start conversations with children. 

The Fall of the Freddie the Leaf
This book features nature photographs that are appropriate for all ages, from toddlers to adults. This story follows Freddie and his companions as their leaves change with the seasons and the coming of winter, finally falling to the ground with winter's snow. 

The Memory Box
In this children’s book by Joanna Rowland, a young child describes what it is like to remember a loved one. The main character creates a memory box to help in the grieving process. This story is a resource for any adult helping a child cope with the loss of a loved one and will help facilitate a conversation about a difficult topic.

As part of our mission to serve the community, the Mike Martin Memorial Library includes publications and information for children and adults that may be helpful during a difficult time. To check out various resources, please visit us at 1670 JFK Road, Dubuque, IA 52002.