Death is a bleak subject most parents are afraid to speak about to kids.
Losing someone is profoundly the most life-changing moment for a child. This heavy and sentimental event can be too much for their little and tender hearts.
Help your kids overcome the feelings of loneliness, grief and sadness by letting them understand the realities of death, in their language and perspective, through these children’s books on losing a loved one:
1. Missing Mummy: A Book About Bereavement
by Rebecca Cobb
“Some time ago, we said good-bye to Mommy. I am not sure where she has gone.”
The book presents the real struggle of a bereaved child who is unsure where his mum has gone. It’s a touching story that delves into the different emotions that a child may feel such as anger, guilt, sadness and perplexity. The story offers an optimistic approach in coping the loss of a loved one by emphasizing the love and support of family.
2. What Is Heaven Like?
by Beverly Lewis, Pam Querin
“There are many rooms in my Father’s house. If this were not true, I would have told you.”
A young boy and his sister want to understand what heaven is like after losing their grandfather. In their quest to find the real meaning, the boy begins to ask everyone he encounters about heaven – his family, ice cream truck driver and even the dentist. Each person he encounters gives varied and insightful answers.
3. Samantha Jane’s Missing Smile: A Story about Coping with the Loss of a Parent
by Julie Kaplow and Donna Pincus
“Samantha Jane has not been smiling lately because her dad had died. Sometimes, when the heartache becomes unbearable, Samantha becomes too afraid to open about her pain. She wonders if she and her mum will be happy again now that her father is no longer with them.”
4. The Invisible String
by Patrice Karst
“Love is the unending connection that binds us all.”
Invisible String delivers a simple approach to help children cope with feelings of loneliness and separation from parents. The message it conveys is timely and it emphasises and assures that LOVE is what binds every person in this world and in the next life. LOVE is what people in pain needs after all.
5. Badger’s Parting Gifts
by Susan Varley
Badger’s friends are sad when he dies but they treasure the memories he left them. “The gentle message holds particular validity for children and is conveyed in a tenderhearted. ..manner.”– Book1ist.
6. Saying Goodbye to Lulu
by Corinne Demas
Losing a dog could be one of the common yet tragic event in the life of our kids. The book is a story of a young girl who grieves the loss of her pet dog named Lulu. When the dog gets older, it became weak and eventually passed away. Though the little girl misses her best friend, Lulu so much, she soon realises that the sweet memories they share will still live forever in her heart.
7. I Miss You: A First Look at Death
by Pat Thomas
Let this book help your children to comprehend that death is an inevitable part of life. This will help parents teach their kids that feelings of grief and a sense of loss are natural responses to difficult situations like a loved one’s death. This inspiring children’s book was written by psychotherapist and counselor Pat Thomas who makes the approach positive and effective.
8. Always Remember You Are Loved: A Child’s Curiosity about the Loss of a Loved One
by Angel D Washington
This book provides parents the right words to say to kids in the most difficult and tragic times such as losing a loved one. It highlights an important message that kids who had lost a loved one should remember: “Always remember you are loved”. This was written to assist a family in helping young, curious and innocent children in the process of healing after a loss.
9. Popcorn Millie Meets Roze Tillie
by Rhonda Booth
When a loved one goes to heaven, we all feel sad, and we miss them so much. That’s how Popcorn Millie feels. Her Papaw John went to heaven a month ago, and she is very sad about it. Her mom has been praying that she’d be able to understand the loss. Popcorn Millie loves taco popcorn, that’s why there’s “popcorn” in her name. One day, she lost a bag of taco popcorn only to find a surprise in return! With this surprise, will she smile once again? Is her mom’s prayer heard by the heavens?
10. Where Do They Go?
By Julia Alvarez
“When somebody dies, where do they go? / Do they go where the wind goes when it blows? … Do they wink back at me when I wish on a star? Do they whisper, ‘You’re perfect, just as you are’?”
This book creates a more serious tone about death when told to children. While other children’s books about death talk about death in a light tone, the author wants children to face it as it is — death. But she adds poetry and sad but colourful language to make children understand the loss of a loved one that even adults will feel comfortable.
How did you talk to your kids about death?