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Books on End of Life, Loss, Grief, and Bereavement

Originally published on November 19, 2009
Most recently updated on July 24, 2012

The following books may be helpful to parents, siblings, grandparents, family members and friends who have lost a loved one. Please note that we are not familiar with every book on this list. However, all books have been recommended by parents and professionals. When possible, we included a link to which you can use to order the book and receive a description.  If you would like further asssitance in locating any of the following books, please feel free to contact us at 866-228-4673.

This list was created with the assistance of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers, CBTF staff, and the generous recommendations of bereaved parents. If you would like to recommend any books to add to this list, please email

The following list is organized by topic. Please scroll down to view all topics of interest.

Books for Parents Caring for Terminally Ill Children

Preparing the Children: Information and Ideas for Families Facing Terminal Illness
By Kathy Nussbaum
Help Me Say Goodbye
Home Care for Seriously Ill Children: A Manuel for Parents
D. Gay Moldow, and Ida M. Martinson; revised by Stacy Orloff and Susan M. Huff
Children's Hospice International, 2003
Things to Consider: When Your Child Has a Terminal Illness
Published out of Duke

Grief Books for Children

Armfuls of Time
Bereaved Children and Teens
Grollman, E.
Beyond the Innocence of Childhood
Can I Take My Panda, Daddy?
By Greg Crooks
Order online at:
Order by calling: (07) 3848 8200 - Australia
Children Die, Too
Johnson, J. and Johnson, S.M.
Omaha: Centering Corporation, 1979
A Child’s Book about Burial and Cremation
Grollman, E. and Johnson, J. 
A Complete Book about Death for Children 
Grollman, E. and Johnson, J.
Omaha: Centering Corporation, 2001
A Child’s Book about Funerals and Cemeteries
Grollman, E. and Johnson, J. 
The Deepening Shade
Don't Despair on Thursdays
By Adolf Moser, David Melton (Illustrator)
Landmark Editions, Inc., 1996, 61 pages
The Fall of Freddie the Leaf
Buscaglia, L. New Jersey: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1982

The Kids Book About Death and Dying: By and For Kids
Mr. Rogers: When a Pet Dies (Mr. Rogers First Experiences)
It Must Hurt A Lot: A Child’s Book about Death
Sanford, D. Portland
In My World
Byers-Crawford, B. & Laza L.
On the Wings of a Butterfly
By Marilyn Maple, Sandy Haight (Illustrator)
Parenting Press, Inc., 1992, 32 pages
Shelter from the Storm
Hilden, J. and Tobin, D.
Straight Talk About Death for Teenagers
By Earl A. Grollman
Beacon Press, 1993
Tear Soup
The Tenth Good Thing About Barney
Viorst, J.
A Terrible Thing Happened
Holmes, M.
Water bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Children
Stickney, D.
When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death

Grief Books Specifically for Bereaved Siblings 

Coping with the Death of a Brother or Sister
By Ruth Ann Ruiz
The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 2001
To order call: (800) 970-4220
The Empty Place, A Child’s Guide Through Grief
Temes, R.
Small Horizons, 1992
To order call: (800)-970-4220
The Empty Room
By DeVita-Raeburn, E.
Donna O’Toole
For Teen Siblings
My Grieving Journey
Donna and Eve Shavatt     
Since My Brother Died
Munoz-Kiehne, M.
Omaha: Centering Corporation, 2000
Spanish and English versions available
Straight From the Siblings: Another Look at the
Center for Attitudinal Healing
New York: Celestial Arts, 1983
When I Die, Will I Get Better?
Breebaart, J. and Breebaart, P.
Bedrich Books, 1993
Where’s Jess?
Johnson, J. and Johnson, M.
Omaha: Centering Corporation, 1982
You and a Death in Your Family
By Antoine Wilson
The Rosen Publishing Group Inc., 2001
To order call: (800) 970-4220

Grief Books for Children Who Have Lost a Friend 

If Nathan Were Here
Bahr, M.
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2000  
I had a Friend named Peter
Cohn, J.  
William Morrow and Company, 1987
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Vol. 1
Eleanor Coerr and Ronald Himler
Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 1999
To access more books about death and grief for children and adolescents, visit the following website 

Grief Books for Bereaved Parents

The Bereaved Parent
Schiff, H.
Death: The Final Stage of Growth
By Elisabeth Kubler-Ross,
By James Phillips Noble
Hannah's Gift: Lessons from a Life Fully Lived
By Maria Housden
Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief
By Martha Whitmore Hickman
Helping Children to Grieve and Grow
Helping Children Grieve: When Someone They Loves Dies
Huntley, T.
How Different Religions View Death and Afterlife
How Do We Tell the Children? A Step-by-Step Guide for Helping Children Two to Teen Cope When Someone Dies
By Dan Schaefer and Christine Lyons
Loss, Grief, and Bereavement For Parents
Buckingham, R. 
Crossroad Publications Company, 1999
Never too Young to Know: Death in Children’s Lives
Silverman, P.
Oxford University Press, 1999
The Next Place
Hanson, W.
Waldman House Press, Inc., 1997
No Child Should Grieve Alone
Pargo, Emilio
Solace Tree, Reno Nevada
One You Love is Dying: 12 Thoughts to Guide You on the Journey
Miller, J. Fort Wayne
Willowgreen Publishers, 1997
Only Spring: Mourning the Death of My Son
Livingston, G.
Marlow & Co. Publishers Group West, 1999
Sibling Grief
By Marcia Scherago  
Talking About Death: A Dialogue Between Parent and Child
Grollman, E.
Omaha: Centering Corporation, 1989
You Know You’re Dying: 12 Thoughts to Guide You Through the Days Ahead
Miller, J.
When Fort Wayne: Willowgreen Publishers, 1997
When Your Child Dies
Huntley, T.
Augsbury Fortress Publishers, 2001
When Your Child Loses a Loved One
Huntley, T.
Augsbury Fortress Publishers, 2001

Books Specifically for Bereaved Fathers

Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing
Golden, T.
Miller, J. and Golden, T.

When Men Grieve: Why Men Grieve Differently and How You Can Help
Lavang, E.

Into the Valley & Out Again: The Story of a Father's Journey

Books for Bereaved Grandparents

For Bereaved Grandparents
By Margaret Gerner        
Forgotten Tears: A Grandmother’s Journey Through Grief
By Nina Bennett
Grandparents Cry Twice: Help for Bereaved Grandparents
By Mary Lou Reed
Grandma’s Tears: Comfort for Grieving Grandparents
By June Cerza Kolf
How Do We Tell the Children? A Step-by-Step Guide for Helping Children Two to Teen Cope When Someone Dies
By Dan Schaefer and Christine Lyons
Newmarket Press, 2001
When a Grandchild Dies: What to Do, What to Say, How to Cope
By Nadine Galinsky June Cerza Kolf (Author)



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