Resources to help your child understand and cope with loss and death
Thousands of children each year experience the death of a loved one. Making peace with the shock, guilt, and tragedy of death is a complicated and arduous process.
Parents and guardians can support children recognizing the bereavement task:
1. Understand death and acknowledge the permanence of it
2. Mourn and cope with feelings
3. Mourn and adjust to the loss and change
4. Address ambivalent feelings
5. Preserve positive memories
6. Redefine the relationship, maintain a healthy attachment
7. Develop commitment to new relationships
8. Make meaning
Children grieve in bursts, and engaging in therapy can help parents and children find some meaning in a time of suffering. In our clinic, work jointly with children and parents to help t self-learning and or activities aimed at helping them to recognize and manage effectively a variety of feelings that they might experience.
Parents and caregivers can also use the resources listed here to help their children with the process of grieving a loved one.
Guiding Your Child Through Grief, by the founders of the New England Center for Loss & Transition and The Cove, a highly praised program for grieving children, takes away the uncertainty and helpless feelings we commonly feel as we reach out to children who mourn. This caring and compassionate guide offers expert advice during difficult days to help a child grieve the death of a parent or sibling. Based on their experience as counselors — and as parents of grieving children — the authors help readers to understand:
Virginia Lynn Fry. Part of Me Died Too: Stories of Creative Survival Among Bereaved Children and Teenagers.
True Stories of young people reflecting on their experiences with the death of pets, family members, or friends.
Grollman, Earl A., Editor. Bereaved Children and Teens: A Support Guide for Parents and Professionals.
A comprehensive resource for those who work with children during this difficult time.
Grollman, Earl. Straight. Talk about Death for Teenagers: How to Cope with Losing Someone you Love.
James, John W. & Friedman, Russell. When children Grieve: For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss, Moving and other Losses.
Johnson, Joy. Keys To Helping Children Deal with Death and Grief.
Experienced bereavement specialist tells parents how to explain the concept of death to children. She advises parents on anticipating children’s responses and, ultimately, how to incorporate the loss into a positive sense of personal memories.
Kroen, William. Helping Children cope with the Loss of a Loved One: A Guide for Grownups.
Age-specific advice detailing what children can understand. Includes a bibliography and resource list.