Books are powerful and serve a variety of purposes. Reading books can provide individuals with entertainment, knowledge, and skills. For children who are not yet able to read, books may represent special bonding time with a parent, caregiver, or older sibling. You may not have realized it, but books provide a great resource for social-emotional learning. Examples include books about going to school for the first time, making friends, dealing with bullies, managing anger, and the list goes on. Other children’s books are written about specific adversities such as divorce, death, or illness to name a few. The focus of today’s blog is using books for helping children understand and process the experience of losing a loved one. Below is a list of books that can be helpful in supporting children’s understanding of death, dying, and the grieving process.
Books to Help Children Cope with the Death of a Loved One:
- When Someone Very Special Dies: Children Can Learn to Cope With Grief by Marge Heegaard
- Remembering Crystal by Sebastian Loth
- The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
- Everett Anderson’s Goodbye by Lucille Clifton
- The Saddest Time by Norma Simon
- Hold Me and I’ll Hold You by Jo Carson
- I Miss You: A First Look at Death by Pat Thomas
- The Purple Balloon by Chris Raschka
- Saying Goodbye To Grandma by J. R. Thomas
- A Taste of Blackberries by D. B. Smith
There have been many, many books written about the topic of grieving, death, and dying. Some books are simple picture books that kids can read on their own. In most cases, it is recommended to read the books with your children so that you, as the adult, can participate in the conversation that is sparked by the stories. The grieving process is complex and does not look the same way for all children. In general, when children are going through difficult times such as grieving the loss of a loved one, they will likely require more support than usual. If you are concerned about your child’s grief reaction, or you yourself are struggling to support your little one through this experience, don’t hesitate to consult a professional.
Do you have other ideas about particular books or ways to use books to support children after experiencing a loss? Please leave your comments below.
NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!