By Last Updated: August 3rd, 2022

The Best Books to Help Children Understand Death and Cope With Grief

When thinking about the word innocence, it is not unusual to think about children. They are born into this world without knowing anything and as they grow, they are influenced and shaped by their environments. Unfortunately, harsh realities can be experienced at an early age, including the death of a family member, friend, or pet. Explaining death and helping children express their emotions in a healthy way can be challenging. No child is the same when it comes to grieving. It is important to be able to have conversations with children regarding death, and books have proven to be a great resource in sparking those discussions. Books encourage the use of imagination and creativity, help in brain development, and promote emotional growth.

Books to Help Children Understand Death and Cope With Grief

Authors and illustrators together have created books for children, explaining what death is in an age-appropriate manner, while highlighting the normalcy of the spectrum of emotions that can be felt throughout the grieving process. Below is a list of books that do a great job of touching on a heavy subject in a simple, but sensitive way.

I Miss You: A First Look at Death 

Coping with the loss of a loved one can be difficult, especially for children who may not comprehend what death means. Loss can trigger a lot of big feelings, many that might be unfamiliar to children. In I Miss You: a First Look at Death, author, and psychotherapist Pat Thomas communicates that death is a natural part of life and the feelings a child may experience when he or she loses a loved one is normal.

The Invisible String 

Physical separation does not mean love and connection have to fade. The Invisible String by Patrice Karst touches on the anxiety children can experience when separated from someone they love, especially as a result of death. Karst sends a message that we are all connected by an invisible string made of love, allowing us to keep those who are dearly loved the most closest to our hearts at all times.

young kids reading books about coping with grief in library

Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories 

Authors often use animals as characters in stories to convey important messages to children. This can be seen in Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories by Audrey Penn. In the story, Chester Raccoon learns that his friend Skiddel Squirrel was in an accident and he won’t be able to see him anymore. Mrs. Raccoon encourages Chester to remember all of the good times they had together and do something special to celebrate his life. This book teaches children that memories can offer comfort when someone passes and honoring those who have passed can be done in unique ways.

The Goodbye Book

Another great example of death through the perspective of an animal is The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr. In the book, Parr writes about the difficulties of saying goodbye to someone through the eyes of a fish. Parr goes through the various emotions one may feel when losing someone but reminds readers that in time, things do get better. He also emphasizes the importance of holding onto memories, which can be done in a number of ways.

Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You

Following the death of a parent, children may struggle with expressing their feelings and trying to make sense of it all. They may begin to ask a lot of questions, which can be challenging to answer. In Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You, Nancy Tillman shows that love is unconditional, transcending time and space. Love will find its way no matter what.

Cremation Services With Compassion

Books are not only helpful to children when it comes to explaining death. Adults can also learn about loss and process their grief by reading. We have compiled meaningful resources that can be accessed on our online support center.

Opal Cremation exists to help those experiencing loss navigate a difficult and emotional time. We offer direct cremation services as all-inclusive packages that cater to the unique wishes and needs of families. Our cremation costs are affordable, with no hidden fees or costs. The entire process can be arranged online or by phone for your convenience, allowing you to focus on what matters most. You can count on our dedicated care team to be here for you every step of the way, with communication and support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Ease the burden, stress, and uncertainty of making arrangements by contacting us today.

Choose one of our Southern California cremation locations to get started:
Los Angeles CremationSan Diego CremationOrange County Cremation

Share This Article