Grief and Loss

Grief and Loss


Helpful Websites

Connections Child/Parent Grief Support Group

Wednesdays 6:00-7:00 pm

121 S. Arthur, Spokane

Connections is a very special support group for youth (ages 6-18) who have experienced loss (through death) of someone close. Children are put into age-appropriate groups and meet with an experienced Hospice of Spokane bereavement counselor.

A support group for the participants’ parents (or other adults who care for them) is offered concurrently. This group, also led by a skilled Hospice of Spokane counselor, helps the child’s important parental figures to reflect on their own and their children’s grief, as well as find skillful ways to parent and support their children during this difficult time. Parents/guardians of children age six and under are welcome; childcare can be provided by arrangement.

Camp Chmepa is a fun, interactive summer camp experience for children ages 7-15 who are in grief. It’s intended to help children understand that they are not alone in their grief and that having fun is also part of healing. Thanks to generous donations from our community, we are able to offer this unique three-day camping experience at no charge.

Useful Books

For Parents:

A Parent's Guide to Raising Grieving Children: Rebuilding Your Family after the Death of a Loved One

By: Phyllis R. Silverman and Madelyn Kelly

ISBN-10: 0195328841

When children lose someone they love, they lose part of their very identity. Life, as they knew it, will never be quite the same. The world that once felt dependable and safe may suddenly seem a frightening, uncertain place, where nobody understands what they're feeling. In this deeply sympathetic book, Phyllis R. Silverman and Madelyn Kelly offer wise guidance on virtually every aspect of childhood loss, from living with someone who's dying to preparing the funeral; from explaining death to a two year old to managing the moods of a grieving teenager; from dealing with people who don't understand to learning how and where to get help from friends, therapists, and bereavement groups; from developing a new sense of self to continuing a relationship with the person who died. Throughout, the authors advocate an open, honest approach, suggesting that our instinctive desire to "protect" children from the reality of death may be more harmful than helpful. Drawing on groundbreaking research into what bereaved children are really experiencing, and quoting real conversations with parents and children who have walked that road, the book allows readers to see what others have learned from mourning and surviving the death of a loved one. In a culture where grief is so often invisible and misunderstood, the wisdom derived from such first-hand experience is invaluable. Filled with compassion and common sense, A Parent's Guide to Raising Grieving Children: Rebuilding Your Family after the Loss of a Loved One offers readers a wealth of solace and sound advice, and even-where one might least expect it-a measure of hope.

Talking with Children About Loss

By: Maria Trozzi
ISBN-10: 0399525432

Through captivating stories and thoughtful analysis, Maria Trozzi explains how to handle the difficult job of talking with children and adolescents about loss, with discussions about: 

* How children perceive and interpret events such as death, disability, and divorce

* Guiding children through the four tasks of mourning 

* Helping children face funerals, wakes, and memorial services 

* Children's fears and fantasies: how they express them, and how to address them

* Age-appropriate responses to children's questions and concerns

* Talking to children about long-term illness, suicide, family or community tragedy, and other special situations

* What to do when children won't talk about loss, and when to seek professional help

When Children Grieve: For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss, Moving, and Other Losses

By: John W. James, Russell Friedman and Leslie Matthews

ISBN-10: 0060084294

To watch a child grieve and not know what to do is a profoundly difficult experience for parents, teachers, and caregivers. Yet, there are guidelines for helping children develop a lifelong, healthy response to loss.

 In When Children Grieve, the authors offer a cutting-edge volume to free children from the false idea of "not feeling bad" and to empower them with positive, effective methods of dealing with loss.

 There are many life experiences that can produce feelings of grief in a child, from the death of a relative or a divorce in the family to more everyday experiences such as moving to a new neighborhood or losing a prized possession. No matter the reason or degree of severity, if a child you love is grieving, the guidelines examined in this thoughtful book can make a difference.

For Kids:

Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss

By: Pat Schwiebert, Chuck DeKlyen and Taylor Bills

ISBN-10: 0961519762

If you are going to buy only one book on grief, this is the one to get! It will validate your grief experience, and you can share it with your children. You can leave it on the coffee table so others will pick it up, read it, and then better appreciate your grieving time. Grand's Cooking Tips section at the back of the book is rich with wisdom and concrete recommendations. Better than a casserole! 

The Invisible String

By: Patrice Karst

ISBN-10: 0875167349

Specifically written to address children's fear of being apart from the ones they love, The Invisible String delivers a particularly compelling message in today's uncertain times that though we may be separated from the ones we care for, whether through anger, or distance or even death, love is the unending connection that binds us all, and, by extension, ultimately binds every person on the planet to everyone else. Parents and children everywhere who are looking for reassurance and reaffirmation of the transcendent power of love, to bind, connect and comfort us through those inevitable times when life challenges us!

Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children

By: Bryan Mellonie

ISBN-10: 0553344021

When the death of a relative, a friend, or a pet happens or is about to happen, how can we help a child to understand?
Lifetimes is a moving book for children of all ages, even parents too. It lets us explain life and death in a sensitive, caring, beautiful way. Lifetimes tells us about beginnings. And about endings. And about living in between. With large, wonderful illustrations, it tells about plants. About animals. About people. It tells that dying is as much a part of living as being born. It helps us to remember. It helps us to understand.
Lifetimes . . . a very special, very important book for you and your child. The book that explains—beautifully—that all living things have their own special Lifetimes.

I Miss You: A First Look at Death (First Look at Books)

By: Pat Thomas

ISBN-10: 9780764117640

When a close friend or family member dies, it can be difficult for children to express their feelings. This book helps boys and girls understand that death is a natural complement to life, and that grief and a sense of loss are normal feelings for them to have following a loved one's death. Titles in this sensitively presented series explore the dynamics of various relationships experienced by children of preschool through early school age. Kids are encouraged to understand personal feelings and social problems as a first step in dealing with them. Written by psychotherapist and counselor Pat Thomas, these books promote positive interaction among children, parents, and teachers. The story lines are simple and direct--easily accessible to younger children. There are full-color illustrations on every page.