The staff of Barr-Harris has compiled a list of books to help grieving parents and children cope with loss and grief. These books suggest various ways of talking about death with children of different ages and provide a better understanding of how children mourn.

Books on Loss and Grief for Parents

10 Steps for Parenting your Grieving Child by Berenberg, A, Scolzitti, V., and Cain, J. (2011)
Talking about Death by Earl A. Grollman (1990)

A practical guide for parents and other adults faced with explaining death to a child while struggling with their own feelings about death. It suggests age-appropriate responses to many questions and provides read-along passages for parents who may need help finding words to express their thoughts and feelings about death. We recommend parents read the book first, before using the read-along passages.

Earl A. Grollman has written many excellent books about death.

A Music I No Longer Heard: The Early Death of a Parent by Leslie Simon and Jan Johnson Drantell (2010)

Interviews with seventy people who lost a parent before the age of 19 because of illness, accident, suicide, or murder. Very readable resource for anyone who has experienced loss of a parent in childhood or knows someone who has.

Letters from Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman (1996)

The companion book to Motherless Daughters, this book does not have the same impact although it is still interesting. Both books are highly recommended.

Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman (1996)

An excellent compilation of interviews with young women whose mothers died when they were young girls. The psychological comments that accompany the interviews are accurate and insightful.

Making Toast: A Family Story by Roger Rosenblatt (2010)

A thoughtful, poignant memoir of a man who lost his daughter. The story chronicles how he and his wife helped their son-in-law and grandchildren handle their late daughter’s unexpected death.

How Do We Tell the Children? by Dan Schaefer and Christine Lyons (1993)

This guide to informing children of death in different situations includes a useful quick-reference crisis section. We recommend this book to parents whose own grief may be interfering with their thinking about how to help their children.

Helping Children Live with Death and Loss by Diana Seibert (2003)

This book is designed for parents, caregivers, teachers, and other adults who will be responding to children who have experienced a loss. It addresses how to answer children’s questions about death, how children respond developmentally to loss, choosing literature about death for children, and understanding and responding to specific death and loss situations.

After a Parent’s Suicide: Helping Children Heal by Margo Requarth (2006)

A compassionate, practical hands-on guide for the surviving parent or caretaker dealing with children’s particular grief when their parent commits suicide. The author is a survivor of a parental suicide and gives the reader hope children may be helped to survive a parent’s suicide. Also suitable for teachers and mental health professionals.

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