Pet Loss Grief Support Animals in our Hearts  Animal Communication Teresa Wagner
  • To be truly present with someone's pain without feeling a need to fix it, reconcile it, or recoil from it, is one of the most powerful gifts we can give another.

Tips to Support Others Who Grieve

Resources to Help Others Through Grief

The richness of personal experience and learning from our own life journeys can never be replaced with books or classes. But for many of us, reading about the experiences, opinions, research, and ideas of others plays a significant role in our continuing professional education and inspires our continued personal and spiritual growth. I hope these resources will be of service to you as your support others. The listings on this page are specifically for those who help others who grieve. For a comprehensive list of resources for grievers themselves, please visit the section Comfort & Support in Your Time of Grief.

You may want to consider taking the Grief Support Skills Teleclass with Teresa
or other classes in The Animal Loss & Grief Support Institute

Books on Guidelines and Skill Building for Helping Others Who Grieve:


The Helper's Journey, Working with People Facing Grief, Loss, and Life-Threatening Illness, Dale G. Larson

The chapters on "The Helping Relationship" and "Healing Words: Communication Skills for Helping" are two excellent primers on basic counseling skills covering qualities of the effective helper and covers specific examples of what works, doesn't work and why in our conversations as helpers.An extremely useful and insightful book for caregivers, the author helps us explore why we help, our personal motivations, and how we can create balance between helping others and caring for ourselves.

The Heart of Being Helpful

The Heart of Being Helpful, Empathy and the Creating of a Healing Presence, Peter R. Breggin

Describes how to cultivate empathy and a healing presence as the underlying principles for all relationships in which we offer hep to others. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Beyond Sympathy

Beyond Sympathy What To Say And Do For Someone Suffering An Injury, Illness or Loss, Janice Harris

By former Director of Victim Services for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, this book provides practical and specific guidelines to help us move from awkwardness to confidence in helping others with loss.

Workshops on Skill Building for Helping Others Who Grieve:


Grief Support Skills, Effectively Helping Others Through Animal Loss Facilitated by Teresa Wagner. This class is available On Demand to take at your leisure, and also as is scheduled teleclass at least once a year.
The content of the class is specifically designed to address issues of animal loss, though the concepts and skills are relevant to supporting others through all types of losses.

Helping Children:


Children and Pet Loss: A Guide for Helping, Marty Tousley

This book is intended to help readers understand children's attachment to their pets and the significance of their loss, to understand the child's concept of death, to recognize how children grieve, to encourage the child's successful grieving, to know when and whether to suggest getting another pet, to recognize loss as a valuable lesson about life.


Healing the Bereaved Child, Growth Through Grief and Other Touchstones For Caregivers, Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

In the tradition of Carl Rogers, Wolfelt offers guidelines on how to create a relationship in which the bereaved child can find their own unique road to healing, using the metaphor of gardening throughout.


Helping Children Grieve & Grow, Donna O'Toole with Jerre Cory

Here is the book about children and grief we have all been looking for. It is easy to read, compassionate, and immensely useful. The information provided is broad in scope but so concise that complex issues can be grasped and understood with ease.


Part of Me Died Too, Virginia Lynn Fry

From Compassion Books: A resource to integrate the healing aspects of art into bereavement work with children and teens. Artist-counselor Fry tells eleven true stories about young people who experienced the death of family members and friends, and the many and varied creative outlets and projects they used to bring their feelings out into the open where they could be explored and released.

Facilitating Support Groups:


Effective Support Groups: How to Plan, Design, Facilitate, and Enjoy Them, Jim. E. Miller

Uses a question and answer approach to cover both basic and advanced information. How often should a support group meet? Where? How long should meetings last? What are appropriate ground rules? What are the qualities of a good facilitator? What are the tasks?

Self Care For The Caregiver:


How Can I Help Myself and Others to Heal, a chapter in Why Me Why This Why Now, Robin Norwood.

From the author of best selling Women Who Love Too Much, this chapter provides wise counsel for examining why we help, how we help, and boundaries to keep it healthy.


The Caregiver's Book, Caring for Another, Caring for Yourself, Jim E. Miller

Filled with glorious photographs of nature taken by Jim, this book is inspiring both from its visual appeal and from his wise and practical words.


How to Escape the Messiah Trap, A Workbook for When Helping You Is Hurting Me, Carmen Renee Berry. Harper Collins, 1988.

The bible for caregivers to help identify motivations for and styles of helping which may contribute to burnout. Describes several types of "messiahs", their characteristics, and how to grow beyond the "messiah trap". HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

For more comprehensive catalogs of books, DVDs, CDs and many, many other resources on grief and grief support, visit:

Compassion Books catalog at

Willowgreen catalog at