Essays (literary) about grief

In Sorrow’s Company: Writers on Loss & Grief, edited by DeWitt Henry a collection of essays from contemporary writers about grief. Contributors include:  Debra Spark, William Gibson, Tess Gallagher, Rebecca McClanahan, Ann Hood, Jamaica Kincaid, Gordon Livingston, Mark Doty, Jane Brox, Cheryl Strayed, Andre Dubus, Scott Russell Sanders, James Alan McPherson, Margot Livesey, Anatole Broyard.

The Exhibition” by Ty Bannerman published in Midway Journal

For Sorrow There is No Remedy” by Julian Barnes, The New York Review of Books. A comparison of Joyce Carol Oates’ A Widow’s Story and Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking

Eighteen Attempts at Writing About a Miscarriage” by Alice Bradley published in The Sun magazine

Shadow Boxing” by Jeremy Collins, published in The Georgia Review 2007

Leap” by Brian Doyle, published on Faith and Doubt on PBS.org

Somehow Form a Family” title essay in Tom Earley’s 2001 memoir. (excerpt at New York Times)

My Father’s Brain” by Jonathan Franzen (New Yorker subscription required to access the archives)

The Caregiver Chronicles” (published as “The Belle of Pittsburgh” in Exit Laughing anthology)

Finding My Marathon Legs” by Rob Hoerberger (New York Times, November 1, 2012)

The Long Goodbye” by Meghan O’Rourke on Slate

Story’s End: Writing a Mother’s Death” by Meghan O’Rourke in The New Yorker 

Unmothered, On Mother’s Day” by Meghan O’Rourke on Slate 

“Swimming” by Joel Peckham at The Sun magazine (February 2013) Note, complete essay not available online.

A Cold Awakening” by Diane Rinehart (from the anthology, Exit Laughing: How Humor Takes the Sting Out of Death (North Atlantic Books, May 2012)

My Own Life: Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer” by Oliver Sacks (New York Times, February 19, 2015). Not really a grief essay, but if you like grief essays, you’ll get a lot out of this essay.

“Now we are five, a big family at the beach” by David Sedaris, on his sister’s suicide. (New Yorker, October 28, 2013)

“All the Colors of of Sunset” by Luci Tapahonso

“Against Angels” by Emily Rapp (The Nervous Breakdown)

Notes From a Dragon Mom” by Emily Rapp (New York Times)

“The Inheritance of Tools” by Scott Russell Sanders

“A Grief Like No Other” by Eric Schlosser (The Atlantic)

Mother’s Day Shouldn’t Be About Grief” by Jennifer Simpson on A 40 Plus Woman 

“My Dad, the Pornographer” by Chris Offut, New York Times Magazine