Books on Child Loss and Grief

We’ve gathered a list of books on child loss that may be helpful to you or your children. Some of these books pertain specifically to child loss, while others are about grief and loss in general, but very much apply to losing a child as well. This list is by no means exhaustive, but we hope it gives you a variety of options to choose from.

For your convenience we have included links to each book on Amazon; many of these books can also be found at your local library.

Disclosure: The Amazon links below are affiliate links, which means that (at zero cost to you) Just Enduring will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

Preschool & Early Elementary

Books on Child Loss for Preschool & Early Elementary Children

This list of child loss books is intended for children of preschool and early elementary age. We hope it provides you with a place to begin the conversation with your children or children in your community.  We have provided a description and suggested age range for each book; however, many books intended for younger children may be appropriate to read to older children as well.  Additionally, there are a few books on the list that, while written as children’s books might not be appropriate for your situation, but we believe might provide you with language you can use to talk about death with your child. We have noted the distinction in the description where appropriate.

Click here to see books on child loss specifically for children who lost a sibling

Books on Losing a Sibling

A selection of books specifically written for children about the death of a sibling.

A Perfectly Imperfect Family

The story of how a brother loves and includes his sister, who died before he was born into the family’s every day life.

Big Sister to an Angel

The story of how one little girl can still be a big sister to a younger sibling who has died. 

Dancing on the Moon

The story of a little girl whose baby bother dies and how she finds healing and comfort. 

My Sibling Still

Written as a love letter from a sibling lost to miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death to a surviving sibling.

Something Very Sad Happened

Intended to be read to 2 and 3 year olds to help them understand and process death. Story can be personalized to tailor to specific situation.  This book also includes tips and notes for parents on handling the details of death.  

So Much to Think About

An activity book created by Mr. Rogers to help young children talk about death.

I Miss You: A First Look at Death

Explains to young child that death is a part of life and discusses the feelings of grief and loss in a simple and direct way. 

Maybe Tomorrow?

Addresses sadness and grief in the healing power of friendship; does not directly mention death, but has good talking points to discuss with children.

Cry, Heart, But Never Break

Death comes as a visitor for grandma and has a compassionate discussion with her four grandchildren. Makes a good connection about how feelings of Sorrow and Grief go hand in hand with feelings of Delight and Joy.

The Invisible String

Discusses the idea that love is a never ending connection. The invisible string is made of love and is always there no matter where we may go.

The Goodbye Book

Easy-to-understand book discussing feelings a child may have when having to say goodbye to someone; does not specify the type of goodbye, thus is a good talking point for small children who may have lost someone.

How I Feel: A Coloring Book for Grieving Children

A coloring book for kids ages 3-8 explores the emotions related to grief. 

The Sad Dragon: A Dragon Book About Grief and Loss

The story of a dragon who loses someone he loves and the range of emotions experienced through grief.

Help Me Say Goodbye: Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies

Workbook with activities for children to process death over time from a terminal diagnosis to living life after death

Elementary

Books on Child Loss for Elementary Children

This list of child loss books is intended for children of elementary age. We hope it provides you with a place to begin the conversation with your children or children in your community. A few books on the list might not be appropriate for your situation, but we believe might provide you with language you can use to talk about death with your child. We have noted the distinction in the description where appropriate. 

Sad Isn’t Bad: A Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss

Simple, direct, easy to understand language about death and the emotions and thoughts kids might experience.

The Memory Box: A Book About Grief

Openly discusses grief and two big questions that children may have: 1. Will I forget my loved one? 2. What do I do with my feelings?

When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death

Uses simple and accessible language for children to understand death and grief.  This book is very direct and may not be appropriate for all children; however, it may be a helpful resource for adults to find language to explain death to kids. 

Healing Your Grieving Heart for Kids: 100 Practical Ideas

100 action oriented ideas that are easy for kids to do to process death.  Written for kids to do independently.  

Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss

The story of Grandy and how she cooks “tear soup” to process her loss and grief, ultimately helping her find comfort and peace.  The book also includes tips for dealing with grief for family, friends and children. 

Adults

Books on Child Loss for Adults

A selection of books for adults on coping with the death of a child. These books range from understanding grief to self-help resources to memoirs of other parents’ stories of loss. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we hope it provides you with a place to begin with your search on coping with the death of your child. We have provided a description for each book. Some of these books do not pertain directly to child loss, but are still very relevant; we have noted the distinction in the description. 

Unraveled: When Loss Changes Everything

Kyle and Betty share lessons they learned, including the silver linings, after they unexpectedly lost their one-year-old daughter Ella. 

Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief

Grief author and speaker shares his experiences of losing his son and mother, as well as witnessing a mass shooting, to discuss the sixth stage of grief.

It’s OK That You’re Not OK

Using stories, research, tips and mindfulness, this book offers a guide through the experience of grief that acknowledges we live in a culture that doesn’t understand grief.

After the Flowers Die: A Handbook of Heartache, Hope and Healing after Losing a Child

Written in an A to Z format, this book covers topics many parents experience after the loss of a child, from different emotions to how to celebrate holidays and more. 

Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back

A collection of stories from grieving dads that offer insight from men who have survived the worst possible loss. 

*Please note that this book discusses the circumstances surrounding the death of several children, and therefore may be difficult for some parents to read.

Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing

This book acknowledges the uniqueness of a man’s experience of grief, helping guide the reader through understanding grief and finding healing.

Healing a Parent’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Child Dies

Advice and simple activities to help grieving parents understand and process the loss of a child. 

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

The author, a Rabbi and bereaved parent, shares his wisdom to offer comfort to grieving people.

Ask Me His Name

This book is one mother’s story of how she navigated the short life of her baby boy and parenthood without a baby to mother. 

The Unspeakable Loss

A guide to hope and healing after the death of a child, written by a bereaved mom who is also a grief counselor and psychotherapist.

On Coming Alive: Journaling Through Grief

A guided journal with 100 prompts to guide you through the darkness of grief.  

Choosing to SEE

A mom’s story of the tragic loss of her daughter and the unexpected path that it led her and her family on.  

Through the Eyes of a Lion

Part memoir, part instructive, the author uses his story of unexpectedly losing his five year old daughter, to give parents the tools to turn their pain into power.  

Bearing the Unbearable

Through 52 stand alone chapters, the author, a bereavement educator, researcher and counselor, provides support to integrate and honor grief.  This book is not specifically about child loss.  

The SIDS Survival Guide

Information and comfort for families who have experienced the loss of a child by SIDS. 

Having Grace

One mom’s journey after the stillbirth of her daughter. This book documents her emotions and touches on many aspects of grief, including how it affected her marriage and faith.  

Shattered: Surviving the Loss of a Child

The author, a hospice chaplain and grief specialist, uses his experience to process the impact a child’s death can have on all aspects of life and how to find healing.  

Life After Baby Loss: A Companion and Guide for Parents

This book offers empathetic support to parents experiencing the loss of a baby, from the initial shock to living with grief to parenting after loss.  

A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss

The author’s mother, wife, and daughter all died tragically in a car accident. This book details how to find joy, compassion and a deeper appreciation for simple blessings after tragedy.  

Giving Grief Meaning: A Method for Transforming Deep Suffering into Healing and Positive Change

After the sudden and devastating loss of her infant daughter, Lily Dulan developed a cross pollination of proven psychological modalities, 12-step wellness tools, spiritual healing applications, meditations, and ancient yoga.

All Ages

Books on Child Loss for All Ages

Child loss books for families, friends and caregivers and for any age.

Healing a Child’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas for Families, Friends, and Caregivers

100 action oriented ideas for parents to do with children or as a family.


All Resources for Parents

A Parent Like You

Funeral Planning

Suicide Prevention

Sibling Support

Lactation Support

Grief

Retreat

Books on Grief & Child Loss

Counseling Resources

Support Groups

Child Loss Statistics

Child Loss in TV, Music and Sports

Our Children’s Stories

Blog: Living & Loving After Child Loss