Random (but not really)

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Mental Health Representation in Books: Grief

Sweetest in the GaleGrief is something I have struggled with since I was quite young. I do not think I have more grief than anyone else, or worse grief than anyone else, it is just that it takes me a while to process everything, and to come to terms with loss.

Everyone deals with grief in their own way, so all I can offer here are stories and quotes that resonated with me. That perhaps helped me come to terms with my own losses, or reflected how I have reacted.


Though I’ve devoted many sleepless nights since youth to anxiously concocting scenarios in which the people I love died and I was left alone, it’s only now she’s gone that I realize I was afraid of the wrong thing. It’s not the moment the world splits in two, it’s all the days after, trying to live a cleaved life and pretend you never knew it whole and don’t feel the space of that missing piece that can never be repaired or replaced.

Mackenzi Lee, The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks


Did he intend to wait until he no longer feared another loss?

If so, he’d never move on. Never fall in love again.

Sweetest in the Gale, Olivia Dade


Hank had still died, and Griffin had slid into that dark place he hoped never to revisit. Caring too much about another person was dangerous and meant he was destined to lose big.

Annabeth Albert, Arctic Sun


“In any case, it’s been over a year now, hasn’t it? You must be learning to get on without him.”

The words were spoken carelessly, and though I knew she meant well, they still lodged in my chest like a splinter. As if one could quantify the exact period of mourning one should endure. As if the pain automatically lessened once enough time had passed.

Anna Lee Huber, This Side of Murder


You fear that seizing the happiness you are entitled to will be somehow disrespectful to those you have grieved for.

J.A. Rock & Lisa Henry, A Case for Christmas

Galaxies and Oceans


“Yeah, it hurts. Understanding a thing doesn’t make it hurt less.”

A.M. Arthur, Getting It Right


Grief was like the great Southern Ocean; it moved in ebbs and flows, often turbulent and rough, or peaceful and settled, and even over time when I could navigate the waters, the tide never stopped.

Galaxies and Oceans, N.R. Walker


988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Call or text 988

Veterans Crisis Line Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 or text to 838255

Resources for Coping with Grief (ALA / APA)

Grief Resources (Good Grief)

Grief and Loss (CDC)

Grief: Coping with the loss of your loved one (APA)



Books with Characters Dealing with Grief


Served Hot (2015) Annabeth Albert (Portland Heat) main character [partner] (Romance)

At Your Service (2018) Sandra Antonelli main character [partner] (Mystery)

Getting it Right (2015) A.M. Arthur (Restoration) supporting character [partner] (Romance)

The Tropic of Serpents  (2014) Marie Brennan (Lady Trent) main character [partner] (Fantasy)

An Unnatural Vice  (2017) KJ Charles (Sins of the Cities) main character [partner] (Romance)

Hottie Scotty and Mr. Porter (2016) R Cooper seconday character [partner] (Romance)

Sweetest in the Gale (2020) Olivia Dade, main character [partner] (Romance)

This Side of Murder (2017) Anna Lee Huber (Verity Kent) main character [partner] (Mystery)

Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand (2012) Carla Kelly, main character [partner] (Romance)

The Haunted Heart: Winter (2013) Josh Lanyon, [partner] main character

Single Malt (2017) Layla Reyne (Agents Irish & Whisley) main character [partner] (Mystery)

It Takes Two to Tumble (2017) Cat Sebastian (Seducing the Sedgwicks) main character [partner, spouse] (Romance)

Whiteout (2017) Elyse Springer (Seasons of Love) main character [partner] (Romance)

Lady Helena Investigates (2018) Jane Steen, main character [partner] (Mystery)

Galaxies and Oceans  (2018) N.R. Walker main character [partner] (Romance)

An Agreement with the Soldier (2021) Sadie Bosque, main character [sibling] (Romance)

A Fashionable Indulgence (2015) KJ Charles (Society of Gentlemen) main character [sibling] (Romance)

After the Scrum (2014) Dahlia Donovan (Sin Bin series) main character [sibling] (Romance)

Haven Investigations by Lissa Kasey, main character [sibling]:  Model Citizen (2016),  Model Bodyguard (2016), Model Exposure (2017), Model Investigator (2017)

Take a Hint, Dani Brown (2020) Talia Hibbert (Brown Sisters) main character [immediate family members] (Romance)

Life’s Too Short (2021) Abby Jimenez, main character, supporting characters [immediate family members] (Romance)

Banquet of Lies (2013) Michelle Diener (Regency London) main character [parent] (Mystery)


The Lion Tamer (2018) Dahlia Donovan (Sin Bin series) main character [parent] (Romance)

Husband Material (2022) Alexis Hall (London Calling) main character [parent] (Romance)

Secrets in the Mist (2016) Anna Lee Huber, [parent] (Mystery)

The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks (2021) Mackenzi Lee, main character [parent] (Fantasy)

Best Laid Plans (2021) Roan Parrish (Garnet Run) main character [parents] (Romance)

The Dream Thieves (2013) Maggie Stiefvater [parent] (Raven Boys)

Jar City  (2000) Arnaldur Indridason translated by Bernard Scudder (Inspector Erlendur) main character, secondary character (Mystery)

Heir to a Curse (2020) Lissa Kasey (Romancing a Curse) main character (Fantasy)

A Case for Christmas (2021) J.A. Rock & Lisa Henry (The Lords of Bucknall Club) main character

A Sanctuary for Soulden (2021) J.A. Rock & Lisa Henry (The Lords of Bucknall Club) main character (Mystery)

Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress (2015) Theresa Romain, main character (The Matchmaker Trilogy) main character (Romance)


988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Call or text 988


Why Representation in Books Is Important
Mental Health Representation in Books: Depression
Mental Health Representation in Books: Anxiety
Mental Health Representation in Books: PTSD
Mental Health Representation in Books: Addiction and Eating Disorders


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