Resources to help you support children.

These resources can be used when explaining death or advanced illness to young children or to help them grieve.

Child Grief: What They Understand, How They Respond, and Ways You Can Help

Child Grief: What They Understand, How They Respond, and Ways You Can Help

Children grieve differently than adults: they grieve in doses, alternating between times of play and intense emotions. A child’s age, developmental stage, and experiences will determine their understanding of death and ability to cope with the death of someone in their life. As well, children often “re-grieve” the loss as they move through life.

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Child & Teen Grief after a Suicide

Child & Teen Grief after a Suicide

A child or teen’s grief is impacted by many factors, including the circumstances of the death. A death by suicide can merit special considerations for the bereaved due to its associated stigma, sudden nature, and the confusion that often follows. Unfortunately, because of people’s discomfort with the subject of suicide, young people can be left unsupported and isolated.

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Talking to Children about Life-Threatening Illness

Talking to Children about Life-Threatening Illness

When someone has a life-threatening illness, their whole family is impacted by the many changes, concerns, and uncertainties. Adults may choose to avoid talking to children about the illness to protect them from pain and distress. However, consider that children can typically feel when something is going on in their family even when they are not told. When they are not informed, they often feel excluded, alone, and isolated. They may even think that they have caused the anxiety and unsettled state of their family.

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Did you know we have a Parent Lunch and Learn Series?

The series, led by the Children’s Grief Centre, provides parents and caregivers with brief, concrete, and accessible information as they navigate new situations with their grief and their children’s grief. Learn more about the series and to watch recorded conversations.

Suggested Books for Children

The book titles below will link you to Goodreads. There, you’ll find reviews and information about the book. Most of these books can be borrowed from the Library or purchased from book stores.

Over the Rooftops, Under the Moon

by JonArno Lawson

When Something Terrible Happens: Children Can Learn to Cope with Grief
by Marge Eaton Heegaard
Rafi’s Red Racing Car: Explaining Suicide and Grief to Young Children
by Louise Moir
On the News: Our First Talk about Tragedy
by Jillian Roberts
Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss
by Pat Schwiebert
Someone I Love Died by Suicide: A Story for Child Survivors and Those Who Care for Them
by Doreen T. Cammarata
Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox
by Danielle Daniel
The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein
Cry, Heart, But Never Break

by Glenn Ringtved

The Day the Sea Went Out and Never Came Back: A Story for Children Who Have Lost Someone They Love
by Margot Sunderland
The Heart and the Bottle
by Oliver Jeffers
The Memory Tree

by Britta Teckentrup

The Invisible String

by Patrice Karst

The Velveteen Rabbit: Or How Toys Become Real

by Margery Williams Bianco

The Invisible Web: A Story Celebrating Love and Universal Connection
by Patrice Karst
The Rabbit Listened

by Cori Doerrfeld

Whimsy's Heavy Things
by Julie Kraulis
The Memory Box: A Book About Grief

by Joanna Rowland

When Mom or Dad Dies: A Book for Comfort for Kids

by Daniel Grippo

The Next Place
by Warren Hanson
When I'm Feeling Sad

by Trace Moroney

When Someone Has a Very Serious Illness: Children Can Learn to Cope with Loss and Change

by Marge Eaton Heegaard

Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You
by Nancy Tillman
Where I Belong

by Linda Kranz

Maybe Tomorrow?

 by Charlotte Agell

Michael Rosen's Sad Book

by Michael Rosen

Other Supports


Almost 2000 people a year benefit from our in-service consultation, training, seminars, and accredited workshops. Individuals and groups that call on us for training and resources include anyone who would like to broaden their understanding of palliative care and grief personally or professionally.