Grief and Loss

Resources for Students and Families

Support Groups for Children and Teens

The loss of a loved one challenges children and teens in ways they may not have experienced before. Feelings of loss and grief may sometimes feel overwhelming and they often have less ability to talk about these feelings or to ask for the help they need. Having some support along the way can be very helpful in helping children and teens cope with the death of a loved one. Support groups offer a validating and nurturing experience that honors the uniqueness of each child’s situation. By offering facilitated discussions, and play and art activities, children and teens are better able to express their difficult feelings. Support groups can also benefit the entire family, as adults can learn how to communicate with their children while often balancing their own grief needs. The following organizations offer grief support groups for children and teens. Most groups are currently meeting online.

Dougy Center: The Dougy Center currently offers online support groups for children, teens, young adults, and their families who are grieving the death of a loved one. In addition, their Pathways program supports families who have a member with an advanced serious illness. Please call 503.775.5683 or email for more information about services and joining a support group. For more information, click here: Dougy Center

Providence: Providence offers grief support groups (currently online) as well as Camp Erin, a free summer camp for children or teens who have experienced loss. More information can be found by clicking here: Providence Grief Services

In This Together is a program that supports children, teens and families who have experienced the death of someone close to them. These professionally facilitated groups are currently meeting online weekly. Families may register for groups any time after the death.

Contact for more information or click on this link: In This Together.

Grief Information and Support

National Alliance For Grieving Children (NAGC) is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the needs of children and teens who are grieving a death and provides education and resources for anyone who supports them.

Child Mind Institute has information and tips about helping children deal with grief.

Kids HelpLine has information about supporting children through grief and loss.

Psychology Today The article "When Children Grieve" provides insight into the grieving process for children and how adults can help.

Children's Books About Grief and Loss

Books on the topic of grief or loss can provide insight into the grieving process and can give children and teens a way to look at and understand grief, and may help them feel less alone. For younger children, it is recommended that an adult reads the book with the child the first time. Older children may want to read the books by themselves, but it can be helpful if an adult reads the book as well, and then initiates a discussion afterwards.

Books For Elementary Age

  • Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death To Children
  • The Invisible String
  • Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You
  • Everett Anderson's Goodbye
  • The Goodbye Book
  • The Tenth Good Thing About Barney
  • I'll Always Love You
  • When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide To Understanding Death
  • The Memory Box: A Book About Grie
  • The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages
  • Liplap's Wish
  • Gentle Willow: A Story for Children About Dying
  • Where are You? A Children's Book About Loss
  • Samantha Janes' Missing Smile: A Story About Coping With the Loss of a Parent
  • A Terrible Thing Happened
  • The Elephant in the Room: A Children's Book for Grief and Loss
  • Water Bugs and Dragonflies:Explaining Death to Young Children
  • When Your Grandparent Dies: A Child's Guide to Good Grief
  • Always and Forever
  • Badgers Parting Gift
  • Ghost Wings
  • The Grandpa Tree
  • Aarvy Aardvark Finds Hope: A Read Aloud Story for People of All Ages About Loving and Losing, Friendship and Hope
  • Dancing on the Moon
  • Ragtail Remembers: A Story That Helps Children Understand Feelings of Grief
  • Goodbye Mousie
  • Remembering Crystal
  • Rudi's Pond
  • The Memory String

Books for Teens

  • Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss
  • When a Friend Dies: A Book for Teens
  • A Grieving Teen: A Guide for Teens and Friends
  • The Life Without
  • Straight Talk About Death for Teenagers: How to Cope with Losing Someone You Love
  • Help for the Hard Times: Getting Through Loss
  • Sometimes Life Sucks
  • Caterpillars Can't Talk: A Children's Story About Love, Loss and Transformation
  • You Are Not Alone: Teens Talk About Life After The Loss
  • The Art of Holding On and Letting Go
  • Of A Parent
  • I Will Remember You
  • The Grieving Teen: A guide for teenagers and their friends
  • When a Friend Dies: A book for teens about grieving and healing
  • Straight Talk about Death for Teenagers: How to cope with losing someone you love
  • How it Feels When A Parent Dies
  • Angel Catcher: A Journal of Loss and Remembrance
  • Facing Change: Falling apart and coming together in the teen years
  • Fire in my Heart, Ice in my Veins
  • The Truth About Forever
  • Weird Is Normal When Teenagers Grieve by Jenny Lee Wheeler
  • Healing Your Grieving Heart for Teens: 100 Practical Ideas