5 Books To Help Kids Cope With Loss
Everyone copes with loss in their own way. However, it is our duty as parents to help our children overcome any loss they should encounter. Here are 5 books to help kids cope with loss. Keep reading to see which ones they are.
5 Books To Help Kids Cope With Loss
There is nothing in a child’s life to prepare them for death. While children pass through the same stages of grief as adults, due to their limited life experiences, they will grieve differently. It is important to remember that every person and child grieves differently and at his or her own pace.
Children experience loss and grief in many different circumstances. The sadness they feel due to the loss of a parent or other loved one may be experienced in many different ways over time.
Swiss psychiatrist, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, described grief as having five specific stages, moving from denial to anger to bargaining, then to depression and finally acceptance. In fact, while this is a useful framework for describing the components of grief, people do not move through the stages in a linear fashion. Recent research supports a more dynamic experience with movement in and out of these states over time.
Let’s be honest, grief is tough enough for adults — even though we understand that death is an inescapable part of life. The loss of a loved one is never easy, regardless of our age.
That’s why when it comes to explaining grief to a child, these 5 books can help kids of all ages know they are not alone and normalize what they are experiencing.
A Tiny Step Forward by Charlene Khaghan and Jill Starishevsky (Ages 4-8)
A Tiny Step Forward was written to let young children know that if they have lost someone close, be it, friend, or family member, it is okay to feel upset and miss the person they are grieving. And, in the days that follow, it is okay to once again feel happy and to enjoy life as their loved one would have wanted for them. Though each day may only be a tiny step forward, the author’s hope is that the final stanza of the book will always serve as a reminder that our loved ones are never truly gone as long as they live in our hearts. In addition, the book includes a section designated for kids to include a photo of their loved one and space to include some of their favorite thoughts and memories.
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst (Ages 7-12)
The Invisible String is a very simple approach to overcoming the fear of loneliness or separation with an imaginative flair that children can easily identify with and remember. Here is a warm and delightful lesson teaching young and old that we aren’t ever really alone and reminding children (and adults!) that when we are loved beyond anything, we can imagine. “People who love each other are always connected by a very special String, made of love. Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love.”
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart (Ages 9-12)
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise: Five years. That’s how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation. It’s also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.
Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished―the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box―she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days…without him realizing it.
Seven Clues to Home by Gae Polisner and Nora Raleigh Baskin (Ages 8-12)
Seven Clues to Home: When you’ve lost what matters most, how do you find your way back home? Joy Fonseca is dreading her 13th birthday, dreading being reminded again about her best friend Lukas’s senseless death on this day, one year ago — and dreading the fact he may have heard what she accidentally blurted to him the night before. Or maybe she’s more worried he didn’t hear.
Either way, she’s decided: she’s going to finally open the first clue to their annual birthday scavenger hunt Lukas left for her the morning he died, hoping the rest of the clues are still out there. If they are, they might lead Joy to whatever last words Lukas wrote, and toward understanding how to grab onto the future that is meant to be hers.
The Girl and the Witch’s Garden by Erin Bowman (Ages 8-12)
The Girl and the Witch’s Garden: Mallory Estate is the last place twelve-year-old Piper Peavey wants to spend her summer vacation. The grounds are always cold, the garden out back is dead, a mysterious group of children call the property home, and there’s a rumor that Melena M. Mallory—the owner of the estate and Piper’s wealthy grandmother—is a witch.
But when Piper’s father falls ill, Mallory Estate is exactly where she finds herself. The grand house and its garden hold many secrets—some of which may even save her father—and Piper will need to believe in herself, her new friends, and magic if she wants to unlock them before it’s too late.