Published: Mar. 28, 2007
Updated: Mar. 19, 2012
Children often face losses in their lives. They may move from their home to a new neighborhood or their best friend may move away. They may not make the sports team or get the part they wanted in the school play.
These losses may result in a variety of feelings and reactions -- disbelief, anger, sadness -- all part of the grieving process. As parents, we watch our children struggle with these losses, try to support them, and wish we could prevent the pain.
When there is a serious illness in the family, children face even greater losses. Parents are also struggling with related issues. Parents often feel very concerned about how they can help their child through this difficult time. Even an illness with a good prognosis for recovery can be associated with feelings of loss. Children may grieve the loss of “normalcy” in their lives as a parent goes through treatment.
The entire family may feel the loss of security -- the feeling that nothing bad will every happen. When a family faces the threat of death of a member, parents often can benefit from assistance in discussing these issues with their children.
Often, reading stories, either imaginary or those of real people, can help children understand and express their many feelings. Read together with a loved one, the story may open the door for questions, sharing of feelings, or just a good hug and cry together.
The books described in this bibliography are available on loan from the Resource Center.
Ordering information is also provided, should you wish to purchase your own copy. If you feel your family would benefit from additional resources, please ask your health care team for referral to other resources.