Grief Resources

Grief is a natural, normal and often necessary response to the loss of a loved one. The grieving process is unique to each individual and, in fact, no two people grieve in the same way or at the same time. Children and teenagers often grieve very differently than adults. When a child grieves, you may not even realize that he/she is grieving. A child’s grief may be made up of many different emotions – ranging from apathy and avoidance to sadness and anger to guilt and everything in between. Adjusting to loss can be a long process, so providing a safe and compassionate space for a child to grieve is important.

Key Points:

  • Each person processes death in his/her own, unique way.
  • Allow children to say how they feel and do not be offended if they are angry with you or do not want to talk.
  • Give children the time and space to explore their grief and reassure them as they bring up fears and concerns.
  • A child’s response to grief depends on his/her developmental stage, age, gender, personality, birth order, relationship with the person who has passed, family support, and earlier experiences with loss and death. 

If your child has experienced the loss of a family member or friend, our school counselors are available to support your child while he/she is in school. Please contact your child’s teacher, principal or school counselor to make arrangements.

Below are some helpful websites and resources where you can find more information to help support your child. 

Grief Resource Websites

Grief Share – Grief Share is a friendly, caring group of adults (ages 18+) who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone. Go to, search zip code 47006, choose a location and register. For additional information call, Kari Ann Rennekamp (812) 212-2702.

Brooke’s Place – At Brooke’s Place, children learn to honor and cherish the loved ones that they carry in their heart. Through peer support groups and therapy services (individual/family counseling), children learn they are not alone. Together, they learn to recognize, express and embrace their thoughts, questions and feelings about grief and loss.

Camp Erin – Camp Erin Indy is a free, weekend bereavement camp for children and teens ages 6-17 who are grieving the death of someone close to them. It is a fun, traditional camp combined with grief education, peer bonding, and emotional support led by grief support professionals and trained volunteers. Camp Erin Indy is part of The Moyer Foundation’s national Camp Erin program. Contact Person: Kelly Petersohn (317) 621-4227

Fernside – Fernside, established in 1986, as the nation’s second oldest children’s grief center, remains today a national leader in providing grief support services and outreach and education to the community and families. An affiliate of Hospice of Cincinnati, Fernside services compliment Hospice of Cincinnati’s comprehensive bereavement program by addressing the unique needs of children. Fernside provides all services free of charge with the help of generous donors who support our mission. (513) 246-9140

Companions on a Journey – Companions on a Journey Grief Support, Inc. (COJ) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit social service organization that provides ongoing support for the bereaved – one child, one teen, one adult, one family at a time, surrounding them with HOPE, STRENGTH, and HEALING as they create their new life balance. (513) 870-9108

NACG (National Alliance for Children’s Grief) – If you are supporting a child who is grieving, we are here to connect you to resources and local support. The alliance is a national organization of professionals dedicated to supporting children and the networks and communities surrounding them.

Dougy Center – The mission of Dougy Center is to provide grief support in a safe place where children, teens, young adults, and their families can share their experiences before and after a death. We provide support and training locally, nationally, and internationally to individuals and organizations seeking to assist children who are grieving. Grief resource for kids, teens, young adults and parents.

Willow House – The mission of Willow House is to provide grief support and education for youth, families, schools and other communities grieving the death of a parent, sibling, or child. Our free services are where hope lives and healing begins. Our vision is that no child, teen or parent grieves alone.

Willow House – Grief Reactions by Age: The following are general categories, not all children will fit “neatly” in to one of these groups. It may be helpful to read through each group to gain a better understanding of how grief affects children and teens of different ages. Be mindful that each child is different and grief looks different for everybody.

Willow House – Guidance and Tools to Navigate through Grief: The following tips are intended to help parents, family members and caregivers provide nursing support to children who are coping with a death.

Grief Resource Booklist (according to age)

Toddlers (age range: 1-3)

  • Something Very Sad Happened: A Toddler’s Guide to Understanding Death – by Bonnie Zucker
  • In Grandpaw’s Pawprints: A Story of Loss, Life & Love – by Lauren Mosback
  • When Someone You Love Has Died – by Stephanie Seidler
  • The Rabbit Listened – by Cori Doerrfeld
  • Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You – by Nancy Tillman
  • Grandad’s Island – by Benji Davies
  • The Goodbye Book – by Todd Parr
  • The Memory Tree – by Britta Teckentrup

Young Children (age range: 4-7)

  • Water Bugs and Dragon Flies – Explaining Death to Young Children – by Doris Stickney
  • My Grieving Journal Book – by Donna Shavatt and Eve Shavatt
  • The Memory Box: A Book About Grief – by Joanna Rowland
  • Complete Book About Death For Kids – by Earl Grollman and Joy Johnson
  • Chester Raccoon and The Acorn Full of Memories – by Audrey Penn
  • I Miss You: A First Look at Death – by Pat Thomas
  • The Invisible String – by Patrice Karst
  • Gentle Willow – A Story for Children About Dying – by Joyce C. Mills
  • Grief Is Like a Snowflake – by Julia Cook
  • Grief Is Like a Snowflake – Activity and Idea Book – by Julia Cook
  • I Had A Friend Named Peter – Talking To Children About the Death of A Friend – by Janice Cohn
  • Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children – by Bryan Mellonie
  • Liplap’s Wish – by Jonathan London and Sylvia Long
  • Old Pig – by Margaret Wild
  • When Someone You Love Has Died – by Stephanie Seidler
  • When Someone Dies: A Children’s Mindful How-To Guide on Grief and Loss – by Andrea Dorn
  • Samantha Jane’s Missing Smile: A Story About Coping with Loss of a Parent – by Julie Kaplow and Donna Pincus
  • Someone I Love Died – by Christine Harder Tangvald
  • The Boy Who Didn’t Want to be Sad – by Rob Goldblatt
  • The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages – by Leo Buscaglia
  • When Someone Very Special Dies – by Marge Heegaard
  • When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death – by Laurie Krasny Brown
  • The Heart and the Bottle – by Oliver Jeffers
  • Ida, Always – by Caron Levis
  • When Grey Came to Stay – by Amber Kuiper’s
  • A Stopwatch from Grampa – by Loretta Garbutt
  • Something Lost Something Found – by Natalia Paruzel-Gibson

Tweens (age range: 8-12)

  • The Healing Book – Facing the Death and Celebrating the Life, of Someone You Love – by Ellen Sabin
  • Water Bugs and Dragon Flies – Explaining Death to Children – by Doris Stickney
  • When Someone Dies: A Children’s Mindful How-To Guide on Grief and Loss – by Andrea Dorn
  • Sad Isn’t Bad: A Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss – by Michaelene Mundy
  • When Someone Has a Very Serious Illness: Children Can Learn to Cope with Grief – by Marge Heegaard

Teens (age range: 13-19)

  • How to Carry What Can’t Be Fixed: A Journal for Grief – by Megan Devine
  • The Grieving Teen: A Guide for Teenagers and Their Friends – by Helen Fitzgerald
  • Fire in My Heart, Ice in My Veins: A Journal for Teenagers Experiencing a Loss – by Enid Samuel Trainman
  • The Healing Your Grieving Heart Journal for Teens – by Alan D Wolfelt
  • My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks by Marc Silver and Maya Silver
  • Speak of Me As I Am by Sonia Belasco

Adults (18+)

  • Understanding Grief – Helping Yourself Heal – by Alan Wolfelt
  • I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One – by Brook Noel
  • It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand – by Megan Devine
  • Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief – by Martha Hickman

Resource Books for Families

  • The Memory Book: A Grief Journal Children and Families – by Joanna Rowland
  • Someone I Love Just Died: What Happens Now? – by Jill Johnson-Young
  • Healing a Teen’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas for Family, Friends and Caregivers – Alan D Wolfelt
  • Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive by Allison Gilbert
  • Heaven’s Child by Caroline Flohr