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Supporting Bereaved Children

Books for Children

Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children by Bryan Mellonie | any loss, ages 5+ | Here For You or Indiebound

Something Very Sad Happened by Bonnie Zucker | any loss, but the illustrations show a woman with a child talking about the loss of someone else, ages 2-4 | Here For You or Indiebound

The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr | any loss, 4-9 | Here For You or Indiebound

Death is Stupid by Anastasia Higginbotham | any loss, but follows the death of a grandparent, ages 4-9 | Here For You or Indiebound

The Memory Book: A Grief Journal for Children and Families by Joanna Rowland | Includes prompted journaling pages and space for photos, ages 5+ | Here For You or Indiebound

Michael Rosen's Sad Book by Michael Rosen | any loss, ages 5+ | Indiebound

Missing Mommy by Rebecca Cobb | mom loss, ages 5+ | Indiebound

Saying Goodbye to Daddy by Judith Vigna | dad loss, ages 5+ | Indiebound

Goodbye Mousie by Robie Harris | pet loss, ages 4-9 | Indiebound

Samantha Jane's Missing Smile by Julie Kaplow and Donna Pincus | dad loss, ages 5-9 | Indiebound

I Miss You by Pat Thomas | mom loss, 4-9 | IndieBound

A Terrible Thing Happened by Sasha Mudlaff | for a child who has witnessed trauma, ages 4-8 | Indiebound

Rudi's Pond by Eve Bunting | friend loss, ages 4-8 | Indiebound

The Scar by Charlotte Moundlic | mom loss, ages 5-9 | Indiebound

Sammy in the Sky by Barbara Walsh | pet loss, ages 5-10 | Indiebound

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld | empathy, ages 4+ | Indiebound

Remembering Ethan by Lesléa Newman | A child who loses her older brother. Addresses a child navigating the shifting dynamic with their parents, ages 5+ | Indiebound

Guidance

NIH - a multi-page handout on childhood grief. Covers topics from letting children visit the dying, attending funerals, and typical child responses to death in the family. 

A comprehensive packet from the American Academy of Pediatrics on how to support children in their grief. 

What’s Your Grief’s post on childhood grief and how age influences understanding

Modern Loss’ post on tantrums after loss

The Tasks of Childhood Grief by Crossroads Hospice, which includes signs that your child is struggling with their grief. 

Centers

While you may not live local to these centers, they provide a number of wonderful resources online. 

Dougy Center (Portland, OR) hosts support groups for local families and lots of useful information on their website for children of all ages. Their tips sheets are a great place to start. The Dougy Center also produces a podcast

Our House Grief Support Center (Los Angeles, CA) is another large support center for grief (serves children and adults). Their child support page offers a number of helpful articles, including how to talk to children about suicide and overdose. They also have a children’s book list

Judi’s House (Denver, CO) Infographics looking at childhood grief nationwide and other grief support resources.

Lighthouse for Grieving Children (Oakville, Ontario) Supportive literature, book recommendations, and consultations. 

Opportunities for Connection

There are also camps dedicated to bereavement for families or children. Having worked as a volunteer at one of these camps, I can share that it’s an amazing opportunity for connection and support. 

Camps in Massachusetts

Experience Camps (in GA, ME, MI, CA, PA)

Camps Nationwide