Children's Grief

Losing someone you love can be one of the most challenging experiences for both families and children. Below is a list of resources that can be helpful in understanding those experiences as well as how to support those around you.

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Book List

These resources are available to borrow at the Family & Community Resource Centre. You can also check with your local library or with The Alberta Library for the availability of these resources.

You can download, print, and share this list.

  • Helping Children Grieve when Someone they Love Dies

    Theresa M Huntley (2002)

    This book offers positive ways for parents and caring adults to help children of all ages and stages to understand death and help them grieve.

  • Gentle Willow: A Story for Children About Dying

    Joyce C. Mills (1993)

    This story about a gentle tree and her forest friends is for children who may not survive their illness as well as for their friends. It addresses various feelings and includes a Note to Parents.

  • Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children

    Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen (1983)

    This sensitive book explains how all living things have a beginning and an ending and how everything in between is living. Through simple text and pictures it helps children understand what makes up a lifetime.

  • What is Death?

    Etan Boritzer illustrated by Nancy Forrest (2000)

    Children will be introduced to how different religions and cultures have various customs and beliefs regarding death including what different cultures do with the body, beliefs of the soul and afterlife, and how making life meaningful now can help a person's memory live on.

  • When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death

    Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown (1996)

    Using colourful illustrations and basic language, short explanations are given on the various concepts of death. This includes word defining, answering questions, discussing feelings, explaining customs, and includes a simple glossary.

  • The Grieving Child: A Parent's Guide

    Helen Fitzgerald (2003)

    Parents of children of all ages will find useful information on experiences, what to expect and how to support children and teens.

  • Beyond the Ridge

    Paul Goble (1993)

    Based on the customs of the Plains Indian people this book written for children tells the tale of the death of an old woman. Symbolism is used to show the customs of the woman on her spirit journey to beyond the ridge, while afterward sacred rituals are done to help mourn and accept her death.

  • What's Heaven?

    Maria Shriver (1999)

    A little girl's grandmother has died and her mother helps her find answers to her questions about Heaven and what is now happening to her grandmother's body and soul.

  • The Grieving Teen: A guide for teenagers and Their friends

    Helen Fitzgerald (2000)

    A practical guide for teenagers and their parents on what grief is, difficult feelings and unique situations that are specific to teenagers.

  • Healing Your Grieving Heart for Kids: 100 Practical Ideas

    Alan Wolfelt (2001)

    100 simple concrete ideas of how to deal with grief for kids and how their grief can be a unique experience.

  • Healing Your Grieving Heart for Teens: 100 Practical Ideas

    Alan Wolfelt (2001)

    100 simple concrete ideas of how to deal with grief for teens and how their grief can be a unique experience.


We would like to thank our friends at The Rotary Flames House and Alberta Children's Hospital for their contributions.


This material is designed for information purposes only. It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction and/or treatment. If you have specific questions, please contact your doctor or appropriate health care professional.

For more information contact the Child Health Information Specialist at 403-955-7745 or