Grief is the natural, normal and necessary response to loss. It is made up of many different emotions - ranging from sadness to anger to guilt and everything in between. Adjusting to loss in a long process and is unique to each and every person. Children and adults face the same jumble of confusing emotions. Books can be an important tool for understanding emotions and sparking conversation. Listen with your heart and validate their feelings. The following books have been chosen as the top 5 for children aged 2-5. We have provided links to purchase the books on Amazon.com* but please check your local bookstore for their availability if that works for you.
1. Always and Forever - Alan Durant : When Fox dies the rest of his family are absolutely distraught. How will Mole, Otter and Hare go on without their beloved friend? But, months later, Squirrel reminds them all of how funny Fox used to be, and they realize that Fox is still there in their hearts and memories. Purchase on Amazon
2. Journey to Your Big Heart – Lori Rubin : Whether your child is 5 or 25, the journey here is a beautiful gift in itself, encouraging deep discussion and open communication amongst family, friends, and loved ones. For the adults giving "Journey to Your Big Heart" as a gift to their more mature friends and family members, it's a little like giving a Hallmark card on steroids! The pages in this book have one or two sentences and magically beautiful art. The lessons of life and love are clear, concise, and easily digested by all. Purchase on Amazon
3. Always by my Side – Susan Kerner : Always by My Side is a comforting, rhyming story written to help children understand that a father's love is forever, even if they grow up without his presence in their lives. This beautifully illustrated book conveys the heart-warming message to children that even though a father is not in their lives, he is still part of them. Purchase on Amazon
4. The Invisible String - Patrice Karst: Specifically written to address children's fear of being apart from the ones they love, The Invisible String delivers a particularly compelling message in today's uncertain times that though we may be separated from the ones we care for, whether through anger, or distance or even death, love is the unending connection that binds us all, and, by extension, ultimately binds every person on the planet to everyone else. Parents and children everywhere who are looking for reassurance and reaffirmation of the transcendent power of love, to bind, connect and comfort us through those inevitable times when life challenges us. Purchase on Amazon
5. Missing My Best Friend – Norma Thorstad Knapp : A story about the power of friendship between two young boys, the subsequent grief when one boy dies, and the power of a family's love. Told through the eyes of a young boy, this is a beautifully written and illustrated book about one child's grief, how the family is affected, and how parents and grandparents can help a child mourn, cope, and heal with the unexpected loss of someone close. Purchase on Amazon
6. Lifetimes: A Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children: Lifetimes is a moving book for children of all ages, even parents too. It lets us explain life and death in a sensitive, caring, beautiful way. Lifetimes tells us about beginnings. And about endings. And about living in between. With large, wonderful illustrations, it tells about plants. About animals. About people. It tells that dying is as much a part of living as being born. It helps us to remember. It helps us to understand. Link to Purchase
*You can support The Moyer Foundation and this Resource Center by choosing The Moyer Foundation on Amazon Smile.
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