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Bereavement

Talking to Your Child About Death

Talking to your child about death can be a challenge, and doing it successfully largely depends on a child’s age and developmental level.  The following are various books and resources that may help you to discuss this difficult subject in a way that makes sense to them.

The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages by Leo Buscaglia “is a warm, wonderfully wise and strikingly simple story about a leaf named Freddie. How Freddie and his companion leaves change with the passing seasons, finally falling to the ground with winter’s snow, is an inspiring allegory illustrating the delicate balance between life and death.

Talking About Death: A Dialogue Between Parent & Child by Earl A. Grollman.  A workbook to give parents their own path, to better understand how children see death and how to talk about death in an age-appropriate manner.

Waterbugs & Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children by Doris Stickney “is a graceful fable written by Doris Stickney who sought a meaningful way to explain to neighborhood children the death of a five-year-old friend.”

Everett Anderson’s Goodbye by Lucille Clifton “is a touching portrait of a little boy who is trying to come to grips with his father’s death. Lucille Clifton captures Everett’s conflicting emotions as he confronts this painful reality. We see him struggle through many stages, from denial and anger to depression and, finally, acceptance.”