Dr. Alan Wolfelt states, “if you are old enough to love you are old enough to grieve.”
Research suggests that children experience grief at a very young age. Child grief is experienced and expressed differently than adult grief, and consequently needs a different kind of support. If you know a child/teen who is grieving you may be a lifeline for them. Find tools and support in the resources below.
General Grief Support:
Canadian Virtual Hospice
What’s Your Grief
Center For Loss & Life Transition
Wise Old Sayings
Child Grief Resources:
Completing the Circle: End of Life Care with, by and for Aboriginal Families
Talking with Kids & teens about dying and Death
Children’s Grief Education Association
Children and Youth Grief Network
Rainbows: Guiding our Youth Through the Storms of Life
The Dougy Center: The National Center for Grieving Children and Families
Moments of Life: Grief Through a Child’s Eyes
Coalition to Support Grieving Students
Teens and Death
Sesame Street: When Families Grieve
Message for Families: Big Feelings
Elmo and Jessie sometimes have big feelings when they remember Uncle Jack, but Elmo's dad Louie reminds them that it helps to talk about their feelings. When Families Grieve launches April 14th at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) with a television special featuring Katie Couric, Elmo, and the courageous stories of families coping with the death of a parent. Visit sesamestreet.org/grief to find out more.
The Memory String
Each button on Laura’s memory string represents a piece of her family history. The buttons Laura cherishes the most belonged to her mother — a button from her prom dress, a white one off her wedding dress, and a single small button from the nightgown she was wearing on the day she died. When the string breaks, Laura’s new stepmother, Jane, is there to comfort Laura and search for a missing button, just as Laura’s mother would have done. But it’s not the same — Jane isn’t Mom. In Eve Bunting’s moving story, beautifully illustrated by Ted Rand, Laura discovers that a memory string is not just for remembering the past: it’s also for recording new memories.
For Families: When Families Grieve
Sesame Street in Communities brings free video content of everyone's favorite, furry Muppet friends as they help children and the adults in their lives reach their highest potential. Grover and the gang will tackle a variety of topics that face children in the areas of health and well-being, school readiness, and emotional well-being. Some of the content and topics presented are more sensitive, so you should preview these videos before sharing with a child.
Introduction to the documentary, Kids Care, directed by Laura Sky, produced by SkyWorks Charitable Foundation. In the film "Kids Care", we meet a memorable group of young people, each dealing with the death of a parent, sibling, cousin or best friend to cancer. The participants in the film talk candidly about their their experiences. They explore their hopes, and their search to re-establish "normal" while learning to live with their loss. They also describe what friends, parents and teachers can do to help kids cope with feelings of fear, anger, isolation and sadness. For more information or to obtain a copy of this film, please visit us at www.skyworksfoundation.org, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sad Sesame Street Mr.Hooper is gone
The writers and producers of Sesame Street decided to create an episode that taught their young audience about the difficult topic of death after the passing of Will Lee, the actor for the character Mr. Hooper. Research was conducted to ascertain the messages they wanted to convey about the topic, as well as the effect the episode would have on the young children who watched it. They were advised by experts in the fields of child psychology, child development, and religion. The episode, which set the standard for dealing with difficult topics on children's television, was called heartbreaking yet affirming, and one of the proudest moments in the show's history.
Children and grief
Ten brave children share their stories of losing a loved one. We hear about their grief and loss, how they are coping and healing. Their advice for other children who have lost a loved one is honest, sincere and heartfelt. These children have experienced a life-changing event, yet they manage to share their stories with a sense of strength and resiliency. Viewers will be left with a sense of hope and an understanding that they are not alone in experiencing death.
No Child Should Ever Grieve Alone | Carly Woythaler-Runestad | TEDxLincoln
Given at the 2015 TEDxLincoln event, Re:Think. Carly Woythaler-Runestad gives a thought-provoking talk on how, as a society, we need to “Re:Think” how children’s grief is addressed and how to create a supportive environment which emphasizes the holistic needs of bereaved families. Carly Woythaler-Runestad has been the executive director of the Mourning Hope Grief Center for over 7 years. Mourning Hope is a nonprofit, grief support network for children, teens, young adults and their families who have experienced the death of someone significant in their life. She has served on a number of diverse statewide boards and in 2014 was elected to the National Alliance for Grieving Children’s Board of Directors.