Losing a loved one is an extremely traumatic experience for anyone, especially a child. It can be hard for some children to understand their feelings or find a way to cope with the loss. I can’t even pretend to imagine what my nephews are going through after the death of my brother, Daniel, but I know that we are all doing what we can to make sure that they are supported in their time of grief. My children are having a tough time, and with this being the first aunt/uncle they’ve lost, it’s going to be a bit of a journey making sure that they are grieving properly.
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Luckily, there are some great books out there for kids, who may need some reassurance that it’s ok to grieve, different ways to cope with loss, and can offer other helpful tools for those who have lost a loved one.
Here are 9 books that can help a child cope with the loss of a loved one.
1. My Heart Hurts: A Grief Workbook for Children – This workbook was created by Karen Jaggers, a grief specialist, that works with children coping with the loss of a loved one. This workbook was created to help start a dialogue about the loss and grief the child is going through. Think of it as a conversation guide for adults and children.
2. Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs – This book helps reassure children that love lasts forever. The message of the books is: No matter how far apart we are, I will always find a way to tell you I love you.
3. The Invisible String – Written specifically to address children’s fear of separation anxiety, the fear of being apart from the ones they love or even death. It reassures a child that love is unending and connects us all.
4. I Miss You: A First Look At Death – This book was created to help boys and girls understand that death is a natural complement to life and that grief and the sense of loss are normal feelings they will go through. It was written to help promote positive interaction among children, parents, and teachers.
5. Something Very Sad Happened: A Toddler’s Guide to Understanding Death – Intended to be read to toddlers (ages 2-3) this book helps them understand death and the process of losing a loved one.
6. The Goodbye Book – This is a book about a fish who has lost his companion. It is written through the eyes of the fish and is meant to remind children that it’s ok not to know all the answers and that someone will always be there to support them.
7. The Memory Box: A Book About Grief – Written by the perspective on a young child, the story creates a memory box to keep mementos and memories of a loved one. There is also a parent guide in the back that includes information on helping children manage the difficult emotions children feel when losing someone they love.
8. Always Remember – A beautifully illustrated book that helps children cope with the death of a loved one and sends the message their loved one’s memory and legacy will last forever. And if you read my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle post, you’ll know that this one made my breath catch in my throat.
9. A Hug from Heaven – Written as a simple poem of love from the person who died, this book reminds children, and adults, that it is ok to hurt and live a positive life, and find special ways to honor the ones we love.