Books can be an important resource to help explore grief responses.
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 5-7. 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. 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. Purchase on Amazon
2. The Fall of Freddie the Leaf – Leo Buscaglia: This story by Leo Buscaglia is a warm, wonderfully wise and strikingly simple story about a leaf names Freddie. How Freddie and his companion leaves change with the passing seasons, finally falling to the ground with winter's snow, is an inspiring allegory illustrating the delicate balance between life and death. Purchase on Amazon
3. I Miss You: A First Look at Death – Pat Thomas: When a close friend or family member dies, it can be difficult for children to express their feelings. This book helps boys and girls understand that death is a natural complement to life, and that grief and a sense of loss are normal feelings for them to have following a loved one's death. Purchase on Amazon
4. Gentle Willow – Joyce C. Mills: Written for children who may not survive their illness or for the children who know them, this tale helps address feelings of disbelief, anger, and sadness, along with love and compassion. Amanda and Little Tree discover that their friend Gentle Willow isn't feeling very well. Purchase on Amazon
5. Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain death to Children – Bryan Mellonie: 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, endings, and about living in between. With large, wonderful illustrations, it tells about plants, animals, and people. It shows that dying is as much a part of living as being born. Purchase on Amazon
*You can support The Moyer Foundation and this Resource Center while you are buying things on Amazon. Please visit Amazon Smile and choose The Moyer Foundation as your beneficiary.