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Dealing with grief and loss

It can be extremely difficult when you lose someone you knew. Whether you’ve lost a family member, a friend, or a pet, you may feel a whole range of emotions.


Grief is an emotional response to this loss, and is a process rather than an event. It may affect how you feel physically, mentally and socially.


On this page, we have provided a few links to useful websites, to support parents and carers and books about grief which we hope will help your child come to terms with a loss.

Useful websites


Young Minds - this is a great website for children, teenagers and adults. The video on this page is suitable for children in Year 3 upwards.


Winston's Wish - another excellent website which gives appropriate information for supporting children.



The Heart and the Bottle

'The Heart and the Bottle' is written by Oliver Jeffers and is about love and loss.

This explores how disorientating grief can be for a young mind. A little girl is shown the world by her father, or father figure, until one day he is no longer there. Unable to cope, she places her heart in a bottle and ties it around her neck. It is not until she has her own child that she is open to the joy and curiosity of the world again. A beautiful book that helps children to understand that in order to experience the joys of life, we must also allow ourselves to feel pain and loss.

The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr

Through the lens of a pet fish who has lost his companion, Todd Parr tells a moving and wholly accessible story about saying goodbye. Touching upon the host of emotions children experience, Todd reminds readers that it's okay not to know all the answers, and that someone will always be there to support them. An invaluable resource for life's toughest moments. Great for Reception and KS1 pupils.

Michael Rosen's Sad Book

An honest and open account of grief and the all-consuming feelings of sadness that accompany it, based on the author’s own experiences. This beautifully written book shows us how someone copes with grief, and helps us to realise that grief will not disappear one day but will become a manageable part of life. Quentin Blake’s illustrations, which capture the heartbreaking look of sadness and grief, allow children to go on that difficult journey with the author. This is more appropriate for KS2 children.

Badger's Parting Gifts read by Susan Varley

Badger is so old that he knows he must soon die, so he does his best to prepare his friends. When he finally passes away, they are grief-stricken, but one by one they remember the special things he taught them during his life. By sharing their memories, they realise that although Badger is no longer with them physically, he lives on through his friends.

The Memory Tree by Britta Teckentrup

Fox lies down in the snow and passes away. The other animals in the forest each recount happy memories of Fox. As they do, a beautiful orange plant starts to grow in the place where Fox died. This is an excellent book to help us reflect on what we love and miss about those who have died and a reminder that death is a natural part of life.

The books starts just after 1 minute so you may wish to start here.

Always and Forever by Alan Durant

When Fox dies, the rest of his family are distraught. How will Mole, Otter and Hare go on without their beloved friend? But months later, Squirrel reminds them all of how funny Fox used to be, and they all realize that Fox is still there in their hearts and memories.

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst

A mother tells her two children that they're all connected by an invisible string. "That's impossible!" the children insist, but still they want to know more: "What kind of string?" The answer is the simple truth that binds us all: An Invisible String made of love. 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. Does everybody have an Invisible String? How far does it reach? Does it ever go away? This heartwarming picture book for all ages explores questions about the intangible yet unbreakable connections between us, and opens up deeper conversations about love.