Grief, Death, Miscarriage, Illness

Watch for signs of children grieving

Children grieve quite differently to adults, and it can be easy to miss the signs of emotional turmoil in children, as they flip between varying reactions and back to ‘normal’ childlike play time, then back again, in all sorts of different times, and often quickly.

Helpful books for children and parents

Many of these books are available through the ACT Library  and some are in our Support Library.

  • Kisses on the Wind by Lisa Moser. About a girl being parted from her Grandmother.
  • Hugs on the Wind,  by Marsha Arnold.  About a little rabbit who loses a loved one (through death or separation), and thinks of ways he can send messages to his loved one on the wind, through the stars, river and trees, sending him hugs and kisses. A comforting story for 3-6 year olds.
  • I Miss You  by Pat Thomas. A gentle children’s book about death, written by a psychotherapist for children.
  • The old classic, Badger’s Parting Gift, (or in German, Leb wohl, lieber Dachs), by Susan Varley, about a an old badger who dies and leaves his animals friends different (non-material) gifts of love.  Suitable for 3 years and up.  There is also a video of Leb wohl, lieber Dachs by Die Sendung mit der Maus.
  • Help Me Say Goodbye by Janis Silverman: Activities for helping kids cope when a special person dies.
  • I’ll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm. A gentle story about a boy whose dog passes away.
  • Sad Book, a book about dealing with death, by Michael Rosen.
  • Something Happened, by Cathy Blanford – a book for children and parents who have experienced pregnancy loss.
  • Someone Came Before You, by Pat Schwiebert – a book for children who come after another child who has died.
  • We Were Gonna Have a Baby but we had an Angel Instead, by Pat Schwiebert – a book for children explaining miscarriage and still birth.  The religious overtones can be overlooked for those whose beliefs don’t fit the title.
  • You can also download the Miscarriage Association’s information sheet on talking to children about miscarriage.

Support Groups, Organisations and Links

  • For children whose parents have a terminal illness or have died, there is Rainbows.  I highly recommend their international website (Rainbows) and the corresponding book – it is an excellent resource about supporting children through a death and loss.
  • Bears of Hope: Support and info for those suffering the pre- or post-natal loss of baby.
  • SANDS:  Miscarriage, stillborn and newborn death – a lot of support and information
  • SIDS and KIDS:  Bereavement support for families experiencing miscarriage or chlid deaths. You can also call their 24hour support line  on 1300 308 307.

Supporting Children in Difficult Times