Resources to support parents and caregivers.

These resources can be used by parents or caregivers to support their children when someone in their life is dying or has died.

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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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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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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Suggested Books for Families

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.

A Parent's Guide to Raising Grieving Children: Rebuilding Your Family after the Death of a Loved One

by Phyllis R. Silverman

But I Didn't Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide

by Barbara Rubel

Caregiving And Loss: Family Needs, Professional Responses

by Kenneth J. Doka and Joyce D. Davidson

Catching Your Breath in Grief: ...and grace will lead you home
by Thomas Attig
Companioning the Grieving Child: A Soulful Guide for Caregivers
by Alan D. Wolfelt
Everywhere and All Around
by Pimm van Hest
Healing a Teen's Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas for Families, Friends and Caregivers
by Alan D. Wolfelt
Help Me Say Goodbye: Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies
by Janis Silverman
Helping Children Grieve, Revised Edition: When Someone They Love Dies
by Theresa Huntley
Fatherloss: How Sons of All Ages Come to Terms with the Deaths of Their Dads
by Neil Chethik
Finding the Words: How to Talk with Children and Teens about Death, Suicide, Homicide, Funerals, Cremation, and other End-of-Life Matters

by Alan D. Wolfelt

I Miss You: A First Look At Death

by Pat Thomas

Ida, Always
by Caron Levis
In My Heart: A Book of Feelings
by Jo Witek
Life Is Like the Wind
by Shona Innes
Never Too Young to Know: Death in Children's Lives
by Phyllis R. Silverman
Rafi’s Red Racing Car: Explaining Suicide and Grief to Young Children
by Louise Moir
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy
by Sheryl Sandberg, Adam M. Grant
Talking about Death: A Dialogue Between Parent and Child
by Earl A. Grollman
Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss
by Pat Schwiebert
Teen Grief Relief: Parenting with Understanding, Support and Guidance

by Gloria C. Horsley, Heidi Horsley

The Invisible String

by Patrice Karst

The Invisible Web: A Story Celebrating Love and Universal Connection

by Patrice Karst

The Memory Box: A Book About Grief

by Joanna Rowland

Whimsy's Heavy Things
by Julie Kraulis
Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You
by Nancy Tillman
When Someone Very Special Dies: Children Can Learn to Cope with Grief
by Marge Eaton Heegaard
Waterbugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children
by Doris Stickney
The Rabbit Listened

by Cori Doerrfeld

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.