I have randomly come across helpful articles. Sitting in the doctor's office I spied an issue of the New Yorker, in which there was an article on Roland Barthes' journal entries as he mourned the loss of his mother. Also -- and again, randomly, as it's not my habit to read magazines -- in an issue of Real Simple magazine I came across a description of The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion's memoir of the year she lost her husband.
Over and above my own findings, I have friends who've had parents pass away. They have rallied to my side through email, text, phone calls, handwritten cards, and even books and music.
Jessica, who lost her dad a couple years ago, sent me When the Heart Waits and A Grace Disguised. I am not quite ready for the former (having picked it up and not been able to get through the introduction) but am finding the latter a treasure. I'm reading it slowly, red pencil in hand, because there's so much goodness to it. Even in things I don't think I need. For example, I skipped over the part on forgiveness because I think of myself as a forgiving person and because I just didn't think it applied to me. But the self-imposed guilt of not reading the whole book got to me and I went back to read the three or four pages. It wasn't just that I saw myself reflected in Sittster's description of an unforgiving person, but he had good advice about how to become a forgiving person. There are things in my heart, attitude, and actions that I can do. So I will try.
I am totally open to recommendations, too, so don't be shy! It feels good to be in the company of good books.