Understandably it can be difficult talking to young children about the loss of a loved one but hopefully these two recommendations for children’s books about bereavement may help.
When someone we love dies it can be overwhelming and difficult to cope with the emotions and grief that we feel. As adults we can turn to family and friends for support and comfort. Plus there’s an abundance of information online about bereavement to help us through the darkest days.
Talking to a child about the loss of a loved one and the grief that follows may feel challenging. It’s natural to want to protect them, and children often have questions that leave us stumbling over our words. Thankfully there are lots of children’s books about bereavement available to help explain about grief and keeping memories alive. The two we have chosen to feature are for children aged 3-5 and tell the story of woodland friends and how they cope when someone they love passes away.
Always and Forever – by Debi Gliori and Alan Durant
This lovely story is about four friends, Fox, Mole, Otter and Hare who all live in a house in the woods. 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 realise that Fox is still there in their hearts and memories.
The Memory Tree – by Britta Teckentrup
Fox heads for the woods and falls asleep one last time. His friends feel very sad and miss him. Then one day they notice a tree growing in the exact spot where he died. Every time they share a happy memory of Fox the tree grows bigger and stronger. The Memory Tree helps everyone remember how much they loved Fox and brings them comfort.
The Child Bereavement Trust is full of valuable insight and includes a free helpline. www.childbereavementuk.org/telling-a-child-that-someone-has-died
Marie Curie has a dedicated page on their website about talking to children about death and bereavement which has practical advice.
Partnership for Children have information on their website on how to discuss death with younger kids and a video. www.partnershipforchildren.org.uk/talking-to-children-about-death.html