Children and Teen Grief

The feelings and perspectives of children are sometimes overlooked, perhaps because of denial, a belief that children cannot understand, fear of the unknown, or simply a wish to escape responsibility.

Children growing up today are more aware of death than most adults realize. Death education begins soon after life begins, with exposure to death in a variety of ways such as the loss of a beloved pet; the passing of  funeral procession; or the loss of  grandparent. However, children may not understand exactly what death means unless it is explained to them. 

Teens may want more information on death and may wish to seek this independently. There are numerous resources available on death and dying appropriate for teens. 

Teens live in cyberspace. In February 2011 Nanaimo Hospice launched a new teen website, designed by their teen counsellor and website tech, and with input from youth and you adults. Teens, parents and school counsellors will find a great deal of information and gain some helpful perspective at

Resources for grieving children and teens

BC Council For Families: Sharing Grief With Children, by Nancy Reeves

Center for Loss: Dr. Alan Wolfelt: Renowned expert on grief

Grieving Children: An Ontario Site offering programs and resources for children and teens.

Kids Aid: A safe place for kids to help each other deal with grief and loss

Rainbows Guiding Kids Thru Life’s Storms: The largest international non-profit organization committed to helping children and teens grieve and grow after loss.

Kirby’s Ocean Friend: A grief therapy tool for children who have lost a parent. The targeted age group for Kirby’s Ocean Friend is between 4 and 6 years old.

How Do We Tell The Children? A Parent’s Guide To Helping Children Understand and Cope When Someone Dies Dan Schaefer and Christine Lyons – Newmarket Press, NY, 1986

On Death and Dying (or any other book written by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross) Elisabeth Kubler-Ross – MacMillian Publishing Co., 1969

The Jumpy Lumpy Grumpy Frog Good-by Book. Written by Doris Davis (Grandma Dee Dee) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing; 2 edition (March 3, 2015)

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