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
Sitting Shiva by Erin Silver | A beautiful, heartfelt story about grief and loss, but also about comfort and community. Explains the purpose of a few traditional Jewish practices during grief, ages 4+ | Indiebound
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.
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)