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Special Topics - Grief and Death


Autism and loss / Forrester-Jones, Rachel; Broadhurst, Sarah. -- London: Jessica Kingsley, 2007. 205 p.

People with autism often experience difficulty understanding and expressing their emotions and may react to loss in ways carers do not understand. This book provides carers with the knowledge, skills and appropriate resources to work through these emotional reactions with them. It covers different types of loss that people with autism may experience including: loss of social relationships; loss of home and possessions; loss of role and identity; loss of health and wellbeing; and loss through death. Included are factsheets and worksheets.

SC/AUT FOR [P12110]

Beginnings and endings with lifetimes in between / Mellonie, Bryan; Ingpen, Robert. -- Melb.: Hill of Content Publishing Co. 1983. 1 Vol (unpaged) ; 22 cm.

This is a moving and beautiful book for children and their parents explaining that there is a beginning and ending to everything that is alive, and that dying is as much part of living as being born. A lovely way to explain life and death to children.

CC 155.937 MEL [P00340;P12788 ]

Coping with death -- Rotherham: Speakup Self Advocacy, 1997. 1 DVD (7 min.)

A British video that looks at what it means when somebody dies and what happens - the funeral and burial or cremation. People discuss what they felt like when somebody they loved died and the things that helped them feel better. For people with a disability.

CC 155.937 COP [P14390]

Dying matters : a workbook on caring for people with learning disabilities who are terminally ill / Brown, Hilary; Burns, Sophie; Flynn, Margaret. -- London: Mental Health Foundation, 2005. 132 p. (looseleaf)

Written for support staff and managers who work in services for people with intellectual disabilities, this manual assists with the important role staff have in supporting and caring for the dying person. Staff alertness to changes in the health of an individual with an intellectual disability and clarifying the responsibility of palliative care for the individual are discussed. Information on strategies for planning after diagnosis, hospital stays, consent for treatment, talking about the illness, the last stage before death and grieving provide staff with the skills needed to respond to the needs of people with terminal illness. This manual is also helpful to carers and family members in defining the roles and responsibilities of different staff involved in the care of an individual with an intellectual disability.

CC 155.937 BRO [P10955]

Everyone dies one day: assisting people with an autistic spectrum disorder to understand the concept of death, loss and the grieving process. / O'Brien, Kathleen. / AUTISM ASSOCIATION OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA. -- West Perth: Autism Association, 1999. 14 p.

Designed to assist people of all ages with an autism spectrum disorder to understand the concept of death, loss and the grieving process. Suitable for people with a disability.

CC 155.937 OBR [P08714;P08713]

Finding your own way to grieve : a creative activity workbook for kids and teens on the autism spectrum / Helbert, Karla. -- London;Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley, 2013. 181 p. ; 25 cm.

Children and teenagers with autism can struggle to cope with the loss of a loved one, and the complicated and painful emotions of bereavement. This book explains death in concrete terms that children with autism will understand, explores feelings that they may encounter as part of bereavement, and offers creative and expressive activities that help with the healing process, including writing, art and craft, cooking, movement, relaxation, and rememberance activities. In encouraging children with autism to express their loss through discussion, personal reflection, and creativity, the book can be worked through by children and teens themselves, or with the support of a family member or professional.

CC 155.91 HEL [P14946]

Gentle willow : a story for children about dying / Mills, Joyce C. -- Washington DC: Magination Press, 2004. 32 p. ; 26 cm.

"This book is written for children who may not survive their illness and for the children who know them. It addresses feelings of disbelief, anger, sadness, love, compassion, and care giving, and provides children a transformational way of viewing death and dying." (Quoted from author). In this story Amanda the squirrel is upset that she is going to lose her friend Gentle Willow, but the tree Wizards give advice that help both her and Gentle Willow accept the change that comes with death. Included at the end of the story are guidelines on talking to children about death and dying, along with exercises designed to help children cope with pain and fear. Suitable for ages 4-8.

CC 155.937 MIL [P12857;P13173]

Goodbye Brecken : a story about the death of a pet / Lupton, David. -- Washington DC: Magination Press, 2013. 28 p. ; 26 p.

This book for children aged 4-8 is about Isabelle and her dog Brecken who were always together, playing and snuggling. When Brecken dies, Isabelle feels angry, sad and lonely. She dreams she goes on a journey through the woods to find him. When she awakes she is able to accept Brecken's death and say goodbye. A note to parents at the back offers more information on helping children cope with the death of a pet.

CC 155.91 LUP [P15403]

Grandad's ashes / Smith, Walter. -- London;Philadelphia, Pa: Jessica Kingsley, 2007. 32 p. ; 22 cm.

This story follows four children who embark on an adventure to find their Grandad's favourite place. A place to scatter his ashes following the funeral. Discusses issues surrounding loss and bereavement.

CC 155.937 SMI [P15642]

Gray's guide to loss, learning and children with ASD / Gray, Carol. -- Michigan: Jenison Public Schools, 2003. 44 p.

This special edition journal provides a guide for parents on explaining loss and death to children on the autism spectrum. Provides strategies for learning and accepting day to day childhood losses and loss caused by the death of a loved one. Explains how to write social stories about loss and provides a list of resources for adults and children on loss in childhood.

CC 155.91 GRA [P11636]

The heart and the bottle / Jeffers, Oliver. -- London: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. 2010. 31 p. ; 26 cm.

This book explores the themes of love and loss. After safeguarding her heart in a bottle hung around her neck, a girl finds the bottle growing heavier and her interest in things around her becoming smaller.

CC 155.91 JEF [P15748]

Help me say goodbye : activities for helping kids cope when a special person dies / Silverman, Janis. -- Minneapolis, Minn.: Fairview Press, 1999. 32 p. ; 26 cm.

An art therapy and activity book for children coping with the death of someone they love. Sensitive exercises address the questions and fears that kids may have during such an emotional and troubling event. Each activity helps children express themselves through different stages of grief." -- Fairview Press.

CC 155.91 JAN [P15745]

Helping children in times of need : grief, loss, separation and divorce : a handbook for parents assisting children through grief and loss / Parker, Judith. -- Watson, ACT: ACER, 2003. 24 p. : ill.

Explaining the loss of someone in the family to a child can be very difficult. This book gives useful advice on how to talk to children about loss through death, separation or change in lifestyle, listing normal grief reactions you could expect in children from birth to twelve years and suggests things to say and do that can help.

CC 305.2311 PAR [P09400]

Helping kids cope : when a loved one is sick and preparing to die / Fairview Hospice, Fairview Health Services. -- Minneapolis, Minn.: Fairview Press, 2002. 23 p.

Covering common questions that parents may have when dealing with a sick or dying loved one and what or how much to tell their children. The book outlines five common myths about children and grief and talks about how to support children during the illness of a loved one and after their death.

CC 155.937 HEL [P10712]

Helping people with developmental disabilities mourn : practical rituals for caregivers / Markell, Marc A. -- Fort Collins, Co.: Companion Press, 2005. viii, 83 p.; 22cm.

When people with developmental disabilities experience the death of a significant person in their lives, they are often excluded from the rituals that can help them mourn and heal. And when they are included in funerals and other death rituals, their special cognitive needs are often not met. This practical book offers twenty simple rituals that caregivers can use with people with developmental disabilities after a death. All of the rituals can be adapted for people of all ages and all levels of disability.

CC 155.91 MAR [P14959]

How to break bad news to people with intellectual disability : a guide for carers and professionals. / Tuffrey-Wijne, Irene. -- London;Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley, 2013. 189 p. ; 23 cm.

This book offers guidelines that can be used by practitioners to ease the process of breaking bad news to people with intellectual disabilities. The guidelines, which are adaptable to individual communication ability and level of understanding, address teh many complex needs of people with intellectual disabilities who find understanding and accepting bad news that has a negative impact on their lives a very difficult task. The book covers a range of different types of bad news from bereavement and illness to more minor issues such as a change of accommodation or a trip being cancelled.

CC 362.307 TUF [P14880]

I miss you : a first look at death / Thomas, Pat. -- Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series, Inc. 2000. 29 p. ; 21 cm.

This reassuring picture book explores the difficult issue of death for young children. Children's feelings and questions about this sensitive subject are looked at in a simple but realistic way. This book helps them to understand their loss and to come to terms with their feelings. (Book cover)

CC 155.937 THO [P13636]

I wish I could hold your hand : a child's guide to grief and loss / Palmer, Dr Pat. -- Atascadero, Ca: Impact Publishers Inc, 2011. 27 p. ; 22 cm

This book helps grieving children identify their feelings - denial, anger and sadness and learn to accept and deal with them.

CC 155.91 PAL [P15744]

Kate, the ghost dog : coping with the death of a pet / Wilson, Wayne L. -- Washington DC: Magination Press, 2009. 48 p. ; 23 cm.

This is a story about a girl whose dog dies, and how with the help of her family and friends, she tries to cope with the death of her beloved pet. It is aimed at 8-13 year olds.

CC 155.937 WIL [P13116]

Let's talk about death : a booklet about death and funerals for adults who have a learning disability / Watchman, Karen. -- Edinburgh: Scottish Down's Syndrome Association, [2001] 10p., ill.

A workbook written to support a person with an intellectual disability after someone close to them has died. In very simple terms it explains what happens when a person dies, the funeral, what they may be feeling and some aspects of the future that may be of concern to them.

CC 155.937 WAT [P09954]

Remembering Lucy : a story about loss and grief in a school / Helton, Sarah. -- London: Jessica Kingsley, 2017. 32 p. ; 25 cm.

This story has been written to help children with special educational needs and disabilities to cope with the death of a friend. The story is set in a special school and tells how the school, and in particular, Joe, a pupil at the school, copes with the news that a friend has died. Includes notes for parents and teachers about how to use the book to help children following the death of a friend.

CC 155.937 HEL [P16150]

Sam's dad died : a child's book of hope through grief / Holmes, Margaret. M. -- Omaha, NE: Centering Corporation, 1999. 12 p. ; 23 cm.

This book opens communication between adult and child. The story is about Sam and the death of his dad. It makes Sam feel better to talk about the death of his father.

CC 155.91 HOL [P15741]

Seeds of hope bereavement and loss activity book : helping children and young people cope with change through nature / Jay, Caroline. -- London;Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley, 2015. 79 p. ; 28 cm.

This imaginative activity book uses nature to help children aged 5+ understand death, loss and change in a gentle and honest way. Full of creative activities, such as choosing an insect or plant and using it to draw a life cycle, or making a paper memory tree of happy and sad memories, it helps children learn about loss and death, the cycle of life and how to cope with and express feelings of sadness and grief. Activities can be done in groups or with individual children, and information on loss and bereavement is included.

CC 155.91 JAY [P15515]

A sky of diamonds : a story for children about loss, grief and hope / Gibbs, Camille. -- London;Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley, 2015. 1 vol (unpaged) ; 22 cm.

Full of practical strategies, this storybook for children aged 5-9 addresses loss, grief and hope. Written from the perspective of Mia who has experienced the sudden death of her mother, it covers the different stages of grief, from initial disbelief, anger and sadness to resolution and hope. The book highlights the importance of giving children the time and space to work through their feelings and provides a host of thoughtful activities to help them cope. It also addresses some of the questions children commonly ask about death [Taken from back cover].

CC 155.937 GIB [P15610]

Someone very important has just died : immediate help for people caring for children of all ages at the time of a close bereavement / Turner, Mary. -- London: Jessica Kingsley, 2005. 40 p.

A practical book that gives adults guidance on what to say to children and teenagers experiencing the loss of a family member or close friend. Advice is given on how to tend to a child's physical and emotional well-being during this traumatic time.

CC 155.937 TUR [P10827]

Sometimes life sucks : when someone you love dies / Carlile, Molly. -- Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2010. ix, 190 p. ; 20 cm.

Like everyone else teenagers struggle to come to terms with their shock and grief. This book offers tips, stories and gentle advice to help teenagers navigate their personal experience of grief - whether it be the death of a grandparent, pet or school friend, a teen fatality, a peer with a terminal illness, living without mum or dad, or the death of a celebrity.

CC 155.937 CAR [P13454]

Supporting people with disabilities coping with grief and loss : an easy-to-read booklet / Gulbenkoglu, Hrepsime. -- Box Hill, Vic.: Scope, 2007. 38 p. ; 30 cm.

The aim of this booklet is to provide people with disabilities and their support people with an overview and an understanding of the grief process; to highlight the range of needs of people with disabilities who may be grieving; and to provide effective strategies for supporting such people. The first section of the book has been developed for people with disabilities themselves in an easy-to-read format. The second section has been developed for people who are supporting people with disabilities. This is also available online at

CC 155.91 GUL [P13087]

A teen's guide to coping : when a loved one is sick and preparing to die / Fairview Hospice, Fairview Health Services. -- Minneapolis, Minn.: Fairview Press, 2002. 35p.

Covering common questions that teenagers may have when a person close to them is dying, this book provides techniques to help cope with grief and remember the person who has died. The book also includes journal pages to help the teenager try and sort out their feelings. The funeral process and healing process are explained and a glossary of terms is included.

CC 155.937 ATE [P10716]

We are living well but dying matters / Change. -- UK: Change, 2011. 1 DVD

This film is about including people with intellectual disabilities in discussions around death, dying and bereavement. Like everyone else, people with intellectual disabilities need to be able to acknowledge their loss and mourn when someone close to them dies. They need to be included in important decisions around end of life (especially their own), be able to ask questions and have their emotional needs and dying wishes recorded. In this film people with intellectual disabilities tell their stories and share their wishes to support others to become more comfortable about dying, death and bereavement.

CC 155.937 WEA [P14438]

What does dead mean? : a book for young children to help explain death and dying / Jay, Caroline; Thomas, Jenni. -- London;Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley, 2013. 1 Vol (unpaged) ; 22 cm.

This is an illustrated book based on the many big questions that children often ask about death and dying, and gives guidance for when a child is bereaved. Suitable for children aged four and upwards, this is a book for parents and carers to read with their children, as well as teachers, health care professionals and counsellors working with young children.

CC 155.937 JAY [P15129]

What happened to daddy's body? : explaining what happens after death in words very young children can understand / Barber, Elke. -- London: Jessica Kingsley, 2016. 40 p. ; 29 cm

A story book for young children about what happens to a person's body when they die. This book tells the true story of what happened in the months after Alex's dad died, when he was 4, and how with the help of his mum he learnt about death, burial and cremation. It includes the story of Alex's family life a couple of years after his Dad's death and how his family remembers his father.

CC 155.937 BAR [P15951]

What on earth do you do when someone dies? / Romain, Trevor. -- Minneapolis, Minn.: Free Spirit Publishing, 2008. iv, 60 p. ; 26 cm.

In this book the author addresses the many questions and thoughts that children have after the death of someone close in a compassionate, enlightening and straighforward manner. It should help ease the pain of loss by offering sound advice and comfort at a difficult time. The text in this edition has been formatted and typeset to make reading easier and more enjoyable for all kinds of readers.

CC 155.937 ROM [P15070]

When dinosaurs die : a guide to understanding death / Brown, Laurie Krasny; Brown, Marc. -- New York: Little Brown & Co. 2009. 32 p. ; 23cm

The book explains in simple language the feelings people may have regarding the death of a loved one and the ways to honor the memory of someone who has died.

CC 155.937 BRO [P15743]

When somebody dies / Hollins, Sheila; Brighton, Catherine Ill. -- London: Gaskell Press, 2003. 36 p. : col. ill.

This book pictorially tells the story of Mary, following the death of someone she loves. It shows how she gets help to understand her feelings and how her new knowledge helps her comfort a friend who has a similar experience. It is designed for people with an intellectual disability, a separate text and information being provided for support people.

CC 155.937 HOL [P10455]

When someone dies : an accessible guide to bereavement for people with learning difficulties and their carers / Mansfield, Michelle; Auckland, Peter; Evans, Anita. -- Cambridge: Speaking Up, 2008. 23 p. ; 30 cm.

This booklet has been designed by people with intellectual or learning difficulties for use by other people with these disabilities and their carers, when someone dies. The aim is to guide them or others who may find it useful, through the bereavement process to help them deal with their loss.

CC 155.937 MAN [P12894]

When your grandparent dies : a child's guide to good grief / Ryan, Victoria. -- St. Meinrad, Indiana: Abbey Press, 2002. 28 p. ; 21 cm.

Aimed at children aged 5-10 this book explains from a child's perspective the days before, after and beyond a grandparent's death. It explores their family's sadness when people realise that someone is close to death because of illness, saying goodbye to a grandparent who is dying. It talks about different reactions to the death of a grandparent, that it is ok to cry, but that other people around them might deal with their grief in other ways. This book explains death in simple words and the idea of heaven. It also explores feelings children may have for a long time after their grandparent's death including feeling sad and not wanting to do other things and how children can help themselves to deal with their grief.

CC 155.937 RYA [P16010]

Ya got people : helping people with developmental disabilities deal with grief, bereavement and loss / Bowling, Carolyn S.; Wilder, Jeffrey W. Diverse City Press, 2003. 116 p. ; 22 cm.

This offers a humane and practical approach to supporting people with developmental disabilities who experience grief, bereavement, and loss. It confronts stereotypes about those with disabilities, and the fact the authors have disabilities may account for the empathy on each page.

CC 155.91 BOW [P15299]