Bereavement Resources: Working with Children & Young People

Bereavement Resources: Working with Children & Young People

In a previous blogpost we looked at Bereavement and Grief Resources for Therapists, mainly focusing on working with adults who have been bereaved. In this new blogpost we’re taking a look at a range of resources that would be suitable for therapists who are working with children and young people who have experienced a bereavement.

We know that it’s impossible to cover everything in one blogpost, but hope that the following list will give you an idea of the range of resources that are available, both for therapists working with children and young people and for young people themselves.

If you are aware of a great book, article, movie, podcast, website, or organisation that we’ve missed out, please feel free to let us know either in the comments section at the end of the page or you can email us directly on . We’ll keep adding to this list too, and hope you will find it a helpful place to come back to whenever you need it.

While you’re here you might want to check out another of our blogposts that looks at different ways to understand and work with people who are bereaved – our blogpost Models of Grief – What Therapists Need to Know covers the main ways of working with this universal experience of loss.

We will also welcome Dr Erin Hope Thompson (Founder, The Loss Foundation), Dr John Wilson (author, “The Plain Guide to Grief” and Tony Buckley (Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Association) on Saturday 9th October for our one-day event Perspectives on Bereavement and Grief, looking specifically at complex grief and helpful ways to work with people who are bereaved, as well as asking the question whether therapy is really needed at all?! We hope you can join us. We will be on Zoom and a catch-up recording will be available for 6 days after the event.

Please do leave a comment in the comments section at the end of the page, and do let us know if there are any vital resources that we’ve missed!


You’re never too big to cry, is one of the messages in Zamir Hussain’s book for Muslim children who have lost a sibling.

  • The Tenth Good Thing About Barney – A short story that, by dealing with the death of a pet, takes a child through the rituals associated with any death, addressing the feelings children have when faced with loss. This book does not have religious overtones, so it can be used by pupils with different sets of beliefs.
  • What On Earth Do You Do When Someone Dies? – Child-friendly (5-10 years), accessible text by Trevor Romain. This short book deals with the many questions that bereaved children of this age have when someone dies.
  • We will meet again in Jannah – This book by Zamir Hussain is to help children make sense of their experience following the death of a Muslim sibling. As children work through the book they will learn about the Islamic perspective on death.
  • The Grieving Teen: A Guide for Teenagers and Their Friends – Written about, but also for teenagers, this book covers a wide range of situations in which grieving teens and their friends may find themselves. It offers explanations and guidance in a very accessible format.
  • Marie Curie Book List – A book list curated by Marie Curie for children and adults supporting grieving children.

Books specifically aimed at very young children

  • Goodbye Mousie – The story of a young boy dealing with the death of his pet mouse is handled with the sure touch of an author familiar with children’s tender emotions. Simply told by the boy, in a matter-of-fact tone with a dash of humour, he recounts his reactions to the death of his pet mouse.
  • Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine: Your activity book to help when someone has died – Designed to help younger children to cope with the death of someone close to them.
  • Milly’s Bug-Nut – The story of a family finding their way through bereavement.

“Badger’s Parting Gifts” by Susan Varley is a wonderful book for very young children (infant to 5 years old).

  • When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death – The authors explain in simple language the feelings people may have regarding the death of a loved one and the ways to honour the memory of someone who has died.
  • Granpa –  Written for 5-7 year olds, this is a beautifully written tale about the close and imaginative relationship between a little girl and her Granpa. The last page is an illustration of Granpa’s empty chair with the little girl beside it looking very thoughtful. No explanation is offered but his death is implied. This non-directive approach enables the book to be used for a variety of situations.
  • Badger’s Parting Gifts  – The classic book for children about losing a loved one and how people live on in memories.


Still from the movie “Lad: A Yorkshire Story”, reproduced from The Guardian. The film tells the story of a teenage boy who makes friends with a park ranger after the death of his Father.

  • Coco (2017) (watch a trailer) – Explores the traditions of the Day of the Dead and the importance of remembering loved ones after they die.
  • Charlotte’s Web (2006) (Netflixwatch a trailer) – A sweet story in which a young pig faces the death of a friend. Suitable for young children.
  • My Girl (1991) (YouTube – watch a trailer)
  • Lad: A Yorkshire Story (2012) (watch on YouTube) – When 13 year-old Tom Proctor’s dad dies his world falls apart; his brother joins the army, his mum is threatened with eviction and Tom gets into trouble with the police. Tom comes to terms with the loss of his dad through the friendship he forms with national park warden, Al Thorpe. This enchanting coming-of- age story is set in the stunning Yorkshire Dales.


Websites, Organisations and Practical Resources

  • Child Bereavement Uk  – Information sheets and resources for children and young people, parents and families for when a child is bereaved or a child dies.

Child Bereavement UK, a leading charity in the UK.

  • Winston’s Wish – Giving hope to grieving children and young people after the death of a parent or sibling, and a wide range of resources. Watch a video on how to answer children’s questions about bereavement HERE.
  • Childhood Bereavement Network – The hub for those working with bereaved children, young people and their families across the UK.
  • Hope Again – Cruse for children.
  • Help 2 Make Sense – Tools for children and young people suffering a bereavement.
  • Grief Encounter – Supporting bereaved children and young people.
  • Dougy Center – The Dougy Center provides support, resources, and connection before and after a death.
  • Elsa Support – Bereavement and loss resources for children.
  • UK Trauma Council – Free, evidence-based resources to support schools, colleges and practitioners working with traumatically bereaved children and young people.

While a lot of research has gone into this resource, inevitably there will be things we’ve missed. We’ll keep adding to this over time but if you’d like to suggest an addition please do let us know. And if you’ve found this blogpost helpful sharing with your peers and colleagues so they can increase their learning is appreciated.

Want to find out more? The BTP Conference on Perspectives on Bereavement and Grief takes place on Saturday 9th October via Zoom with Dr Erin Hope ThompsonTony Buckley, and Dr John WilsonClick here to find out more about the day!

If you found this blogpost helpful please share it with your peers. You can also say something in the comments section below.

* there are affiliate links in this post, if you buy a book using one of these affiliate links we will get a very small fee. It all helps! Thank you!

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  1. Claire Roberts on 18 September 2021 at 1:32 pm

    Very helpful.
    Many thanks

  2. Sandra Street on 21 September 2021 at 6:30 pm

    Thank you so much for this incredibly helpful information.

    • Shelley Holland on 21 September 2021 at 8:07 pm

      Thanks for your kind words Sandra!

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