Children and Grief
Grieving children will often talk through or play out their concerns or fears if provided with a safe, supportive and creative environment, which is why we have dedicated a room in the funeral home to the children, designed especially for their needs.
At our funeral home, our Children's programs are very close to our heart and we hope that you will take advantage of them if the need arises in your family. For example, we are honored to host the Children's Tour at no additional cost to your family. The tour involves a twelve minute video on what will occur during the course of a visitation and funeral. The staff may guide children through the funeral home to help them feel more comfortable in a somewhat uncomfortable place that they may have trouble understanding. The tour is also informative for the parents or guardians experiencing death for the first time.
Please contact us to learn about the Children’s programs at our funeral home and in our community. If you have any questions, we are here to help in any way that we can.
Myths About Children and Grief
1. Young children do not grieve. Children grieve at any age. Their grief can be manifested in many ways depending on their age, developmental stage, and life experiences. Children often do a very good job at grieving intensely for a time and then taking a break. The break is usually in the form of play. Adults often mistake a child’s play as a sign that the child isn’t grieving, which is just not true.
2. Children should go to funerals. Children should not go to funerals. Both statements are myths. Children, even very young ones, should have a choice whether they want to attend the funeral. Each child handles their loss differently and should be allowed to grief as they wish. For their choice to be a meaningful one, they need information, options, and support.
3. Children get over loss quickly. Adults never get over a significant loss so why should children? The truth is that no one really gets over a significant loss. We can learn to live with the loss and adapt to the reality that the one we love is no longer here, but we can never forget the intense feeling of loss. Children may revisit their loss at different stages in their development and as their understanding of the loss changes, their grief may arise again.
4. Children will be permanently scarred by a significant loss. Children, like most people, are resilient. A significant loss can affect a child’s development but adequate support and continuing care can help them deal with their feelings of grief appropriately.
5. Encouraging children to talk about their feelings of grief is the best way to work through their loss. It is important to allow children to talk through their feelings and to promote open communication. However, other approaches, such as art, play, music, and dance allow children to express their feelings.
Children and adolescents may use these methods to express their grief and adapt to their loss with a more positive outcome. Working through grief and adapting to loss is important for children. Studies have shown that children and adolescents that have unresolved grief are at a higher risk for developing depression and anxiety as adults. It’s important then that family members recognize the needs of grieving children and help them access the resources they need.
Below, please find a list of books available to help with the grieving process:
After the Flowers: Life Beyond Widowhood - M. Nye
After Suicide - John H. Hewett
All Alone: Surviving the Loss of Your Spouse - Kathleen Rawlings Buntin
A Man You Know is Grieving-James Miller& Thomas Golden
But I Never Thought He'd Die: Practical Help for Widows - M. Nye
Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul: Stories About Life, Death and Overcoming the Loss of a Loved One - Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
Coping with Life after Your Mate Dies - D. Cushenberry and R.C. Cushenberry
Doors Close, Doors Open: Widows Grieving and Growing - M. Lieberman
Father Loss, How Sons of All Ages Come to Terms With the Death of Their Dads-Neil Chetnik
Footsteps Through Grief-Darcie D. Sims & Alicia S. Franklin
Good Grief-Granger Westburg
The Grief Recovery Handbook - John W. James, Russell Friedman
Healing a Father's Grieving Heart-William Shatz
Healing the Adult Siblings Grieving Heart-Alan D. Wolfelt Ph.D.
100 practical helps for the unique grief after the death of a sibling
Hello from Heaven-Bill and Judy Guggenheim
How to Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies - Therese A. Rando, Ph.D.
I'm Grieving as Fast as I Can: How Young Widows and Widowers Can Cope and Heal - L. Feinberg
Instantly a Widow - R. Sissom
A Christian faith perspective on healing after sudden loss
I Remember, I Remember-Enid Traisman
A keepsake journal for the whole family to cherish
Just Us-Wanda Henry Jenkins
For those who have lost a loved one by homicide
Letter to My Husband: Notes About Mourning and Recovery - J. Truman
Living in the Shadow of the Ghosts of Grief-Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.
This compassionate guide will help you learn to identify and mourn your carried grief so you can go on to live the joyful, whole life you deserve.
Living with Grief, Loss in Later Life - Kenneth J. Doka
Living with Grief at Work, School, Worship - Joyce D. Davidson
Losing a Parent-Fiona Marshall
Military Widow: A Survival Guide-Joanne M. Steen & M. Regina
Moments for Those Who Have Lost a Loved One - Lois Mowday Rabey
Older Bereaved Spouses - D. Lund
The Other Side of Grief-Darcie D. Sims & Alicia S. Franklin
For those who have been on the path of grief for sometime and wonder 'What does the other side of grief look like?'
Starting Over: Help for Young Widows and Widowers - Adele Nudel
Suicide Survivor's Handbook-Trudy Carlson
Survival Handbook for Widows (and for relatives and friends who want to understand) - R. J. Loewinsohn
Understanding Your Grief - Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.
10 Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope
Tear Soup-Pat Schweibert
When Men Grieve-Elizabeth Levang
For women who want to better understand how men grieve
When Someone You Love Completes Suicide-Sondra Sexton Jones
Why Are the Casseroles Always Tuna?-Darcie Sims
Widow to Widow-Genevieve Davis Ginsburg
Women in Mourning-Jean Clayton
The Widow's Financial Survival Guide-Nancy Dunnan
The Widow's Handbook: A Guide for Living - C. Foehner and C. Cozart
The Wilderness of Grief: Finding Your Way-Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.
For Children, Adolescents, & Those Who Care for Them
After a Parent's Suicide - Margo Requarth, MN MFT
Helping children heal
A Child's View of Grief-Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.
For parents and other caregivers
Brave Bart-Caroline Sheppard
A story for traumatized and grieving children
But I Didn't Say Good-bye: Helping Children and Families After a Suicide- Barbara Rubel
Don't Despair on Thursdays-Adolf Moser
Explaining Death to Children - Earl A. Grollman
Facing Change - Donna O'Toole
Falling apart and coming together again in the teen years - A book about change for teens
Healing Your Grieving Heart for Kids-Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph. D
100 Practical ideas, simple advice, and activities for children after death
Healing Your Grieving Heart for Teens - Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.
100 Practical ideas, simple advice, and activities for teenagers after death
How It Feels When a Parent Dies-Jill Krementz
I Heard Your Mommy Died-Mark Scrivani & Susan Aitken
I Heard Your Daddy Died-Mark Scrivani & Susan Aitken
I Miss You: A First Look at Death-Pat Thomas & Leslie Harker
Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children-Bryan Mellonie & Robert Ingpen
Ready...Set...R.E.L.A.X.-Jeffery S. Allen & Roger J. Klein
For ages 5-13. Exercises and activities to help children overcome anxiety
Sarah's Journey-Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.
Sad Isn't Bad-Michaelene Mundy & R. W. Alley
What's Heaven - Maria Shriver
When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death-Laurie Krasny Brown & Marc Brown
I'll Always Love You -Hans Wilhelm
Missing Hannah -Darlene Kane
Badger's Parting Gifts -Susan Varley
Dragonfly Door -John Adams
Flying Hugs and Kisses -Jewel Sample
For Those Who Have Lost a Child
Empty Cradle, Broken Heart - Deborah L. Davis, Ph.D.
Surviving the death of your baby
For Better or Worse-The Centering Corporation
A book to strengthen marriages after a child dies
Grief of Parent: When a Child Dies-The Compassionate Friends
The Grief of Grandparents-Centering Corporation
Later Courtney: A Mother Says Goodbye-Susan Evans
Miscarriage - Sherokee Ilse and Linda Hammer Burns
Miscarriage: A Man's Book-Rick Wheat
Our Stories of Miscarriage - Rachel Faldet and Karen Fitton
Remembering the Death of a Child - Robert R. Thompson, M.D.
Silent Cradle - Judy Gordon Morrow and Nancy Gorden
Help and understanding in time of pregnancy loss
Silent Sorrow - Guidance and Support for You and Your Family - Ingred Kohn, MSW and Perry-Lynn Moffitt
Strong and Tender-Perinatal Loss
A guide for the father whose baby has died
When Winter Follows Spring-Dorothy Ferguson
Waiting with Gabriel - Amy Kuebeleck
A story of cherishing a baby's brief life
When a Baby Dies - Rana K Limbo, Sara Rich Wheeler and Susan T. Hassel
The Worse Loss : How Families Heal From the Death of a Child- Barbara D. Rose