Mourning and Grieving with Young Children

Christine V. Hides, Associate Minister
Amy Castino, Director, A Joyful Noise Preschool
Katie Lancaster, Senior Associate Minister

As a church, we mourn today with those who mourn the loss of Ned Smith. Because his life touched so many in our community, we offer a brief list of resources below that we recommend for anyone wondering how to talk to their children about death and grief. Ned’s Caring Bridge site will be updated with service information when it becomes available. In this tender time, we remind you that church ministers and staff are available for prayer and conversation.

Tip Sheets for Parents Published by Good Grief:

Picture Books About Grieving:

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
A mother tells her two children that they’re all connected by an invisible string. Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love.

Something Very Sad Happened: A Toddlers Guide to Understanding Death by Bonnie Zucker
Zucker uses terms and language appropriate for two- and three-year-old children.

The Memory Box: A Book About Grief by Joanna Rowland
From the perspective of a young child, Joanna Rowland artfully describes what it is like to remember and grieve a loved one who has died. The child in the story creates a memory box to keep mementos and written memories of the loved one to help in the grieving process.

Ida Always by Caron Levis and Charles Santoso
An exquisitely told story of two best friends—inspired by a real bear friendship—and a gentle, moving, needed reminder that loved ones lost will stay in our hearts, always.

Water Bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children by Doris Stickney and Gloria Claudia Ortiz
Doris Stickney and her minister husband were looking for a meaningful way to explain to neighborhood children the death of a friend when the fable of the water bug that changed into a dragonfly came to mind.

The Little Blue Bottle by Jennifer Gamber
This book doesn’t provide pat answers or heavy-handed messages about life or death, but allows the grieving child to articulate her loss and her love for the deceased friend using a little blue bottle the neighbor kept to remind her of Psalm 56:8: “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”

A list of Youth Mental Health and Crisis Resources is available on the Youth Ministry page at

September 27, 2021

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