Helping children cope with loss and grief

Gayle Chadwick, Branch Manager, Cokeville Branch Library
Posted 3/24/21

Grief comes from many causes, from the death of someone close to them or even a family pet. Grieving is a difficult road for everyone.

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Helping children cope with loss and grief


Many times children don’t have the coping skills to grieve. The Lincoln County Library System has resources to help your child cope with grief. Grief comes from many causes, from the death of someone close to them or even a family pet. Grieving is a difficult road for everyone.  Many books are written in a way to help calm a child during this difficult time. Stop by your local Lincoln County Library and try one of these beautiful books.

“Saying Goodbye to Lulu” by Corinne Demas. About Lulu, the aging family dog whose health is declining as she ages. She needs to stay close to family members because she doesn’t see well, can’t climb stairs nor hear very well. When the little girl came home from school one day her mother told her that Lulu had died. This precious book is simply written and helps children through the grieving process while keeping memories in their hearts, and still moving forward.

“Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing after Loss” by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck Deklyen. Schwiebert is a registered nurse who shares a hospice ministry and has worked in the area of bereavement for more than 30 years. In Pat’s words, “This is a place (hospice) where dying friends teach us how to live, while we teach them how to die.” In “Tear Soup” Grandy is a wise woman who has a recipe for Tear Soup.  During the process of making tear soup you need help from family or friends and some parts you need to do alone. “Tear Soup” is for older children who will understand the metaphor of the meaning of Grandy’s soup.

In “Remembering Ethan” by Leslea Newman, Sarah misses her older brother Ethan. She wants to remember him and celebrate all the fun times. One day Sarah draws a picture of her and Ethan and hangs it on the refrigerator. When her Mom sees the picture, she bursts into tears and runs upstairs. This is when Sarah realizes that more people miss Ethan then just her and Buttons, the family cat. Later her Mom and Dad explain to her they were not mad but just really sad and they share a book of memories. “Remembering Ethan” is a beautifully written book about the slow acceptance of grief.

“The Invisible Leash: a story celebrating love after the loss of a pet” by Patrice Karst shares the very best news ever: when our pets aren’t with us anymore, an invisible leash connects our hearts to each other. Zack’s friend Emily tells him about the invisible leash after his dog Jojo dies. Zack doesn’t believe it until a journey through the neighborhood and helps him feel the gentle tug of the leash, and it feels like love.

“Children Helping Children with Grief” by Beverly J. Chappell helps people of all ages walk the path of grief.  Chappell started one of the first grieving centers for children, The Dougy Center, in honor of a young man by the name of Doug, who died of a brain tumor. The Center helps many families find their way and understands that no one goes through the grieving process the same.