5 Books for kids to help them grieve
Helping kids understand death
Kids need help to understand death because they know something’s going on around them that they don’t understand. Adults are acting weird around them and whispering. Someone is missing from the family or friend circle and they start to internalise their feelings. I encourage you to read books on death and dying with your children, they’re confused and worried anyway, so help them understand.
Make sure you answer any questions they have with the answer they’ve asked, especially little ones.
Some of the questions to be prepared for:
What happened to … (insert name)?
Why did they die?
Will you die?
Who will look after me if you die?
Where am I going to live if you die?
You can read read another blog post about telling a 3 year old Grandma’s dying which helps you answer some questions.
I asked my good friends at @kids.books.we.love, (who write wonderful book reviews for kids) if they could put together some books that would help kids deal with their grief. So they sent me these 5 books for kids to help them grieve. Some of these books I’ve read and others are on my list to read.
@kids.books.we.love (on Instagram)was started by Mel and is continued by her mum Tess, her daughter Miss 8 and Katie a good friend. The page was started by Mel and, when her health took a turn for the worse and she was dying, her support team continued on, in a memorial to Mel.
These are the books they chose. They look interesting and informative. I’m adding these to my library too.
Ida, Always – Caron Lewis
“A beautiful, honest portrait of loss and deep friendship told through the story of two iconic polar bears. Gus lives in a big park in the middle of an even bigger city, and he spends his days with Ida. Ida is right there. Always. Then one sad day, Gus learns that Ida is very sick, and she isn’t going to get better. The friends help each other face the difficult news with whispers, sniffles, cuddles, and even laughs. Slowly Gus realizes that even after Ida is gone, she will still be with him and through the sounds of their city, and the memories that live in their favourite spots. Ida, Always is an exquisitely told story of two best friends and inspired by a real bear friendship and a gentle, moving, needed reminder that loved ones lost will stay in our hearts, always.”
The Invisible String – Patrice Karst
“Parents, educators, therapists, and social workers alike have declared The Invisible String the perfect tool for coping with all kinds of separation anxiety, loss, and grief. In this relatable and reassuring contemporary classic, a mother tells her two children that they’re all connected by an invisible string. “That’s impossible!” the children insist, but still they want to know more: “What kind of string?” The answer is the simple truth that binds us all: An Invisible String made of love. Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love. Does everybody have an Invisible String? How far does it reach? Does it ever go away? This heart-warming picture book for all ages explores questions about the intangible yet unbreakable connections between us, and opens up deeper conversations about love.”
Feathers – Karen Hendriks
“Dad, it’s my wish feather.’ I gently place my dream treasure under my pillow. Mum promised to always be with me… Feathers is a gentle book that supports any children who may have lost a loved one. Sometimes a simple reminder of their presence can make all the difference.”
Mum’s Jumper – Jayde Perkin
“If Mum has gone, how do you carry on? Missing her feels like a dark cloud that follows you around, or like swimming to a shore that never comes any nearer. But memories are like a jumper that you can cuddle and wear. And Mum’s jumper might be a way to keep her close. A simple, heartfelt and ultimately uplifting book for anyone coping with loss.”
That’s where I find you – Norliah Syer
‘That’s Where I Find You’ is a heartfelt story about remembering a loved one. A beautiful reminder that no matter how much we might miss them, they’ll always be with us … in our hearts.”
Follow @kids.books.we.love on Instagram, they review all sorts of books for kids from 6 months to 8 years.
More books to help kids talk about death
Here’s another blog post to help you because conversations about death are tricky. Books are a great way to introduce death and start a conversation. I hope you find this list of books helpful to start conversations with your children. In this blog post I compiled a list of questions to start a conversation with your child after reading the book with them.