5 books for children experiencing grief
Children are incredible; they adapt, grow and learn at an incredible rate. However, like adults, grief can affect children in hundreds of different ways and it can be an extremely emotional and confusing time for them. Talking to your children about loss, grief and death can be a really difficult thing to navigate – but you should not put these tricky conversations off. We all need a bit of a helping hand sometimes, which is why we have collected together a list of children’s books about loss and grief that might help you to start these valuable conversations. Every child should have a chance to understand what is happening around them and these books might help them to feel confident enough to ask questions and find out a little more about their grief.
Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine: Your Activity Book to Help When Someone Has Died by Diana Crossley and Kate Sheppard
Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine by Diana Crossley and Kate Sheppard offers practical support for children experiencing grief. The book offers advice, activities and exercises, delivered to you by the two protagonists, Bee and Bear.
What Does Dead Mean? A Book for Young Children to Help Explain Death and Dying by Caroline Jay and Jenni Thomas
Children, understandably, have a lot of questions about death and dying. This book, What Does Dead Mean by Caroline Jay and Jenni Thomas, helps to guide children through these difficult questions. This book is suitable for children over four years of age, and is a great resource for not only parents and caregivers, but teachers, therapists and counsellors alike.
Overcoming Loss by Julia Sorensen
Full of play-based activities, Overcoming Loss by Julia Sorensen aims to help children understand and come to terms with all of the emotions that come with loss. Sorensen explains in an understanding and creative way that emotions such as anger and jealousy are all normal things to feel when a child is experiencing bereavement.
Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley
Arguably one of the most famous books on loss for children, Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley has helped millions of children come to terms with the death of somebody close to them. The story explores the end of Badger’s life and how his friends remember him and all he did for them.
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst and Geoff Stevenson
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst and Geoff Stevenson aims to help children to cope with the loneliness and separation that comes with losing a loved one. It deals with some mature themes, in a sensitive and understanding way, so it is suitable for children aged 3 and up.
These books will help you to start these difficult conversations with your children. Although this might be a really painful time to encourage them to speak about what they are feeling, it is so important that they feel as though they have a safe space to ask questions. If you need more support for your child experiencing grief, the NHS have valuable information, tips and a list of charities to get in contact with, should you need a little extra help. Along with this, we have a list of UK Bereavement Charities that you might want to consider taking a look at, should you feel the need to.
By Rebecca Thomas