Dealing with Grief and Loss

It can be extremely difficult when you lose someone you knew. Whether you’ve lost a family member, a friend, or a pet, you may feel a whole range of emotions.

Grief is an emotional response to this loss, and is a process rather than an event. It may affect how you feel physically, mentally and socially.

On this page, we have provided a few links to useful websites, to support parents and carers and books about grief which we hope will help your child come to terms with a loss.

Useful websites:

Young Minds – this is a great website for children, teenagers and adults. The video on this page is suitable for children in Year 3 upwards.

Winston’s Wish – another excellent website that gives appropriate information for supporting children.

Documents and guides for parents and carers

Download: Grief and Loss Guide [PDF]
Download: Growing Around Grief for Older Children [PDF]
Download: Growing Around Grief for Younger Children [PDF]
Download: Saying Goodbye [PDF]
Download: Ways to Talk About Suicide [PDF]

The Heart and the Bottle

‘The Heart and the Bottle’ is written by Oliver Jeffers and is about love and loss.

This explores how disorientating grief can be for a young mind. A little girl is shown the world by her father, or father figure, until one day he is no longer there. Unable to cope, she places her heart in a bottle and ties it around her neck. It is not until she has her own child that she is open to the joy and curiosity of the world again. A beautiful book that helps children to understand that in order to experience the joys of life, we must also allow ourselves to feel pain and loss.

The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr

Through the lens of a pet fish who has lost his companion, Todd Parr tells a moving and wholly accessible story about saying goodbye. Touching upon the host of emotions children experience, Todd reminds readers that it’s okay not to know all the answers, and that someone will always be there to support them. An invaluable resource for life’s toughest moments. Great for Reception and KS1 pupils.

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book

An honest and open account of grief and the all-consuming feelings of sadness that accompany it, based on the author’s own experiences. This beautifully written book shows us how someone copes with grief, and helps us to realise that grief will not disappear one day but will become a manageable part of life. Quentin Blake’s illustrations, which capture the heartbreaking look of sadness and grief, allow children to go on that difficult journey with the author. This is more appropriate for KS2 children.

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