Grief is a natural and universal response to a loss. Bereavement is the state of loss when someone close to you has died. Bereavement services can help family members realize and accept the grief process as a normal response to the loss of a loved one.
The Pediatric Life Journey Program was developed to offer support and guidance to parents and family members following the death of a child. The program provides educational resources to families to enhance coping skills and hosts an annual remembrance service to honor the lives of their children.
Grief & Bereavement Resources
- Sesame Street
A variety of resources and activities, including kits and videos for children of various age groups.
- Sesame Street- Spanish
- Dougy Center Tip Sheet (PDF)
Information for parents to help their young children – teens cope with death.
- Dougy Center Activities for school age children
- Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS)
Providing the gift of remembrance photography for parents suffering the loss of a baby.
- Children in Anticipatory Grief
- How to Help a Grieving Child
- Dying in Your Mother's Arms
- When Someone Very Special Dies
Author: Marge Heegaard
(School-age- Pre-teen, some pages could be used with younger children as well)
Discusses change and the finality death and gives space to help process these concepts. Says that some people believe in God and briefly outlines some thoughts of afterlife. Discusses various emotions that are normal to feel.
- Close to My Heart: A Guided workbook for Children After a Loved One Dies
Author: M.D. Susan Foley
(Preschool to school-age)
Colorful workbook, works through magical thinking, memories, some pages just to read and others to do work on.
- Fire In My Heart, Ice In My Veins
Author: Enid Samuel Traisman
(Teen work book)
- Gentle Willow: A Story for Children about Dying
Author: Joyce C. Mills
A squirrel is friends with a little tree, they admire a big willow tree across the pond. The squirrel befriends the willow, who then gets sick. The squirrel tries to help by inviting tree wizards, but they could not fix the willow. Encourages the squirrel to sing songs and comfort the willow as she dies. Discusses the special memories that they have of the willow. Uses another story about a caterpillar changing into a butterfly to help ease the willow’s fears of dying.
- The Fall of Freddy the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages
Author: Leo Buscaglia
A story about a leaf that goes through life and then dies. Death is presented in a non-threatening way, although the leaf is scared about it at first.
- Waterbugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children
Author: Doris Stickney
(Pre-School to School age)
Metaphorical story that explains death to young children.
- Invisible String
Author: Patrice Karst
A heartwarming story that reassures children that even though they can't always be with a loved one, they're always in each other's hearts. Whenever a child thinks about a family member, THE INVISIBLE STRING gives a tug. This book is an excellent way to begin the conversation about death. The gentle story illustrates that we are still connected by love even after someone passes.
- Sad Isn’t Bad: A Good Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss
Author: Michaelene Mundy
(Pre-School to School age)
Discusses that it is okay to feel a variety of emotions and encourages them to express the emotions, that even if mom and dad are busy they still love them, that it isn’t the child’s fault, /magical thinking. Mentions that some people believe that a dead person’s spirit goes to “God in heaven” and that some believe when you die you will be reunited with your loved one that has died.
Feel Free to contact the Patient and Family Resources Department to find out more information about our bereavement services at (352)-265-0224.