February 21, 2011

Books for Grief

We're exactly one week away from the anniversary of my father's death. My sister's sons recently drew pictures of themselves with Grandpa, and my sister posted that she's always amazed at the heart's ability to remember important dates. I'm grateful that this year of "first's without" is almost over.

To make things more poignant, my husband's grandmother passed away last week, and we'll be attending her funeral tomorrow. With all of this on my heart, I thought I would share a few books about death and grief.

When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death (Dino Life Guides for Families)

My (elementary school counselor) sister recommended this book to me after my father passed. I was surprised at how honest and forthright it speaks about death and grief. It talks about what happens to the body, what the grieving process might look like, how friends and family might act toward someone who is grieving, and what different religions believe about life after death. I highly recommend reading the book ahead of time and picking and choosing the pages you feel will most help your child. It covers a wide range of subjects, including suicide, which may not be appropriate to your situation.

by Randy Alcorn, Linda Washington

Heaven for Kids 

I love Randy Alcorn. He's one of the leading experts on Heaven, and his insights are always encouraging. This book is geared toward older children, but it's question and answer format is perfect for YOU when trying to answer your young child's questions about Heaven. I was amazed at the insightful questions E asked after my father's death, and this book really helped me give her concrete, Biblical answers about what Heaven is like.

by Randy Alcorn

Tell Me About Heaven

This picture book was too long for my preschooler, but school-aged children would benefit from the story of a boy and his grandfather visiting for the first time since his grandmother's death. Throughout their visit, the grandfather teaches the boy about heaven and helps his grandson accept the grandmother's death. Even if your kids aren't interested in the story, you'll both be inspired by Ron DiCianni's gorgeous artwork throughout the book.

For more books, visit this post from Playing by the Book. Zoe put together a beautiful list of picture books that are as artistic as they are insightful about grieving for those we love.

Since I'll be tied up the next few days with out-of-town family, I've asked some of my best friends to guest post! Woo-hoo! I am surrounded by incredible, talented women, and I can't wait to introduce them to you.


  1. That's a hard thing for all of you to be going through.

    See if you can find a copy of "Tear Soup," it's a picture book that really helped me through the death of my father about 10 years ago.

  2. My heart goes out to you. I'm sorry you're going through this time. These look like wonderful books to help children navigate death and the grieving process.

  3. I'm so sorry for your losses. Last year was extremely difficult for us, too, since my mom passed away and shortly after that my grandmother passed away. My two little girls are still having trouble with the concept of death. I read some books to them at hospice where my mom was, but these books look wonderful. I think I'll look for them!

  4. Ohhh...sending hugs!! Books are such a good way to help kids (and grown ups) get through these tough times. Hang in there!

  5. I like that you posted this, C. I know it's been a hard year for all of you. I'm sure E has been full of questions this year, probably even more so in the coming years.

  6. Lots and lots of Hugs and prayers from INDIANA!


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