How to grieve and maintain your sanity.

A rational and compassionate approach to bereavement



Resources for Mourners

The Humanist Approach to Grief and Grieving

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Grief is a process that takes time, and you will need help as you process your emotions. Here is a list of resources that may come in handy.

Secular Celebrants

The first area people need help in is finding a celebrant to provide a non-religious funeral for the deceased.

If you are in the USA, there are two groups that certify celebrants.

Grief Support Groups and professional counseling

Once the rush of the funeral is over, you will find that you will now have no distractions from your grief. It is at this point that you will benefit from finding a grief support group or the assistance of a professional grief counselor. Here are some non-religious options for you to consider:

  • Grief Beyond Belief on Facebook.
  • The Association for Humanistic Psychology has a list of Humanistic Psychologists who should be able to help you with your grief if you find you are stuck or having problems:
  • Also be sure to check with your local Humanist group to see if it offers any grief support. Most don’t, but some do, so you may get lucky.


There are only a couple of books which specifically deal with the topic of grief from a Humanist or non-religious perspective:

  • Raising Freethinkers by Dale McGowan has excellent information – especially if you are helping a child cope with grief. There are other topics covered in this book as well, but the section of grief is outstanding.
  • Funerals Without God by Jane Wynne Wilson is a practical guide to non-religious funerals. It is what I used to put together my first funeral service.
    There are, however, several excellent books written by Humanistic Psychologists or people trained in the cognitive behavioral model which is a form of Humanistic Psychology.
  • One of the top recommended books is: The Grief Recovery Handbook by John James and Russell Friedman.

Other online grief support material you may find useful

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