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Things I Found Helpful

Click on the image to purchase the book or kindle via Amazon. Some of the following links are affiliates provided at no cost to you. The opinions are my own and are based on my personal experiences.


We Don’t Talk Anymore
by Kathy McCoy, PhD

This is a must-read for parents who are either completely estranged from their adult child or feeling like they are not connected to their lives. Cathy McCoy is an author, journalist and blogger as well as a psychotherapist specializing in work with troubled or estranged families.


Bearing Witness:
One Mother’s Online Journey After Suicide
by Carla Howatt

If the unthinkable happened, where would you run?

When Carla Howatt’s son took his own life, she began posting on-line about her journey of grief, trying to sort through her raw pain and overwhelming sorrow. For more than a year, she shared her thoughts and emotions, welcoming others into her experience in the hopes they might gain a greater understanding of the impact of suicide.

Whether you’re suffering from mental illness, battling thoughts of suicide, grieving the loss of a loved one or working with those who are, Carla provides a unique, in the moment perspective on the life-altering effects of suicide.


Just Try and Stop Me:
The Memoir of a Young Woman With Down Syndrome
By Mackenzie Meyer

A life full of adventure, love and heartache

Ever wonder what life is like for someone who was born with developmental delays?

Maybe you have a new baby who has Down Syndrome and you are wondering about their potential?

This book was born when the author went to hear a writer in residence speak at her local library. Two days later she announced she was going to write a book about her life.

Her family knew better than to try and stop her.


Dark Night of the Soul

Dark Night of the Soul is an expression often used to describe difficult times in our lives. It originated in a poem by St. John of the Cross and does not actually appear in the Bible. This is an excellent way to learn more about it. 

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Mental Wellness in Adults with Down Syndrome
by By Dennis McGuire, Ph.D & Brian Chicoine, M.D

Okay, I’ll be honest. At the time of this posting, I haven’t yet read this book. But I was so excited when I came across it on Amazon that I couldn’t wait to let everyone know about it. 

I have struggled in the past with knowing what is “normal” or to be expected with regards to my daughter’s mental health. Even when she had a traumatic experience and I wanted to get her help, most of the people in the mental health profession that I spoke with didn’t have much information. 

So check it out and if this post is still up like this, let me know what you thought!


When Your Adult Child Breaks Your Heart by Joel Young and Christine Adamec

If you have ever experienced your adult child struggling with mental illness, substance abuse or if they have ever been incarcerated, this book was written for you. 


Lost and Found: The Journey Through My Son’s Mental Illness by Linda M. Denke

Oh my heart. If your child has a mental illness, you will relate to Linda’s story of heartbreak, fear and hope. Her son was diagnosed as having bipolar when he was 23 years old and his family watched him flounder and suffer. Take a journey with this family, you won’t regret it.


1 Mom’s Thoughts About Coping When an Adult Child Lives with Mental Illness by Stacy A. King

What stood out for me when I started reading this book was that she spoke to my feelings of isolation when my children became adults. She talks about people assuming the “raising” is done and our children need us less and less. But what happens when they have a mental illness that stops them from being able to become fully independent?


Shattered; Surviving the Loss of a Child by Gary Roe

While this book is more generically about losing a child at any age, I still wanted to include it in this list. Why? Because it is practical, helpful and real. There is no pretending or flippant, clichish advice. It is written by a man who knows from lived experience what losing a child is all about. Like us, he belongs to the group no one wants to be a member of.

I also included it because it is available on Kindle Unlimited. That means you can sign up for Kindle Unlimited (a small monthly fee and sometimes they have a one month trial) and you can read it for free online.


Learning to Live, Laugh and Love Again: after the death of an adult child by Jan Jaworski

When dealing with such gut-wrenching topics such as grief, no one can understand but another person who has gone through something similar. People who haven’t lost an adult child may try to understand and they may at some point think they “get it.” Jan Jaworski doesn’t have to try to understand, she does truly get it.


Of Mess and Moxie
by Jen Hatmaker

Why am I only hearing about this book now? A friend recommended it to me and two days after finishing it, I am still thinking about the final chapter.

The entire book was a pleasure to read; witty, at times silly and always entertaining. By the end of the last chapter though, I was crying my eyes out. Snot dripping down my face crying. Why? Because it was the one and only time I have ever read something written about grief by a Christian author that didn’t feel contrived and cliché-ish.

It is chapter 23 and is called rewoven. I won’t tell you the entire premise, but will share a couple of the high points. When talking about the answer to the question “why?” that we all ask at one time or another, she responds that there is no formula for suffering. She acknowledges there is no pat explanation.

“So in the face of broken-heartedness, there’s no need to counsel people in the way of spiritual explanation, for we are guessing at best, misrepresenting God at worst.”

She goes on to explain that when we try to force a “tidy grief” on people; we don’t need to hustle ourselves or others through their stories.

This is the first Christian take on grief which has resonated with me in a way that feels authentic. It is the first time I have felt heard in that world.