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Grief Resources for Children




Helping Children Cope with Loss

The Hospice of East Texas has trained Bereavement Specialists, some of which have specialized training in supporting adults with grieving children.
Please don't hesitate to contact us - we're here to help. 

(903) 266-3400, extensions 447 & 127.

When a loved one dies, it can be difficult to know how to help kids cope with the loss, particularly as you work through your own grief. By being open and honest, encouraging communication, and sharing your own feelings, you and your children cope with painful times and begin your healing journey together.

A child's ability to understand death varies according to his or her age.

Infants and Toddlers feel a loss through the absence of a loved one, interruption in their regular routine, and through the grief and stress they sense in their parents or other family members. Make sure to spend extra time holding and cuddling the child, and try to keep them on a regular schedule as much as possible.

Younger children might have trouble understanding the permanence of death or differentiating between fantasy and reality. They also might believe the death of a loved one is a form of punishment for something the child did. When you talk to young children about death, make sure to use concrete language, avoid euphemisms, and reassure the child that the death is not a consequence of something he or she did.

Older children are beginning to understand the permanence of death, and might associate it with old age or personify it in terms of frightening images or a cartoonish boogeyman. They often know more about how the body works, and have more specific questions. It's important to answer their questions to the best of your ability, and provide as much specific, factual information as possible. Try to keep them to regular routines, and give them opportunities for the constructive venting of feelings and grief.

Tips for Talking to Children about Death

When Families Grieve™
This guide was created by Sesame Workshop, the educational organization behind Sesame Street. It explores children's understanding of death and offers information about communicating, ideas for coping together, and ways to move forward with your children after a loss.

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The National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC) is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the needs of children and teens who are grieving a death and provides education and resources for anyone who supports them. Through the collective voice of our members and partners we educate, advocate and raise awareness about childhood bereavement.

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Helpful Children's Books
This list recommends children's books that deal with death and grief. These easy-to-read stories can open up a meaningful discussion between you and your child, and help children make sense of their feelings and understand what they're experiencing.

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