Hi. Seven years ago, after a profound loss, God blessed me with a great and burning desire to learn all I could about death, heaven, “last things”, etc.
Some of the books I read included:
Heaven, The Heart’s Deepest Longing (Peter Kreeft)
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Heaven (Kreeft)
A Grief Observed (C.S.Lewis)
Travel Guide to Heaven (Anthony DeStefano)
Basically, the grieving books all frustrated me because they seemed to, in an attempt to be universally comforting, condone pretty much any feeling the bereaved experienced.
St. Paul says that we should not grieve as the unbelievers do–who have no hope.
The night before Gabriel’s burial, I could not sleep. I stumbled around in a strange house searching for a bible. I knew that God had to have something profound to say about something as devastating as death. The above line from Paul is what I ultimately found.
What does it mean to have hope? It means that we TRULY believe that our “dearly departed” are, in fact, ALIVE. They are simply departed from us for a time (assuming they are/were ultimately heaven-bound). They have ARRIVED! They are where we aspire to be. They have made it HOME.
The above mentioned books are not exactly about grieving, but informed me to an extent that I could correct my grieving. If we truly believe, grief will have a shimmering thread of joy–joy for our loved one who is now a saint.
I will add here the thread I posted after he died. Maybe some of my raw thoughts will help you. forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=103882&highlight=gabriel+drowned
Finally, while I don’t write much on it, I have a blog where I have written a few more recent thoughts.
I pray you find the answers you seek. God bless you.