Navigating Grief with Children: Recommended Books from FW Barnes Funeral Home in Ballarat

February 14, 2024

The journey through grief is a challenging path, especially for children who may be encountering loss for the first time. Understanding and processing the emotions associated with the death of a loved one can be complex. At FW Barnes Funeral Home in Ballarat, we believe in the power of storytelling to help children comprehend and heal from loss. Here, we recommend several books designed to assist young ones in navigating their feelings during such a difficult time.

1. “The Invisible String” by Patrice Karst

This heartwarming book explores the concept that we are always connected to those we love through the invisible string of love, even if they are no longer physically with us. It’s a comforting reminder for children that their loved ones are always close to their hearts.

2. “I Miss You: A First Look at Death” by Pat Thomas

“I Miss You” is a gentle introduction to the concept of death, explaining in child-friendly language that death is a natural part of life. Illustrated with soothing pictures, it helps children understand what happens when someone dies and offers support through the feelings of grief.

3. “The Goodbye Book” by Todd Parr

Through its simple and direct storytelling, “The Goodbye Book” addresses the feelings someone might go through after a loss. With Todd Parr’s signature colourful illustrations, this book is a supportive tool for children facing goodbye, offering reassurance that it’s okay to feel sad or confused.

4. “When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death” by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown

Using clear and understandable language, this book tackles various aspects of death, from the emotional responses to the practical implications. Its approachable format helps demystify the subject for children, making it an excellent resource for young minds trying to grasp the concept of loss.

5. “The Memory Box: A Book About Grief” by Joanna Rowland

This poignant story is about creating a memory box to keep mementos and memories of a loved one. It offers a practical and interactive way for children to remember and cherish the people they have lost, helping them understand that it’s okay to hold onto love and memories.

6. “Water Bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children” by Doris Stickney

Using the metaphor of water bugs transforming into dragonflies, this book provides a simple yet profound way of explaining death and the afterlife to children. It’s a comforting read that helps children cope with the loss of a loved one by understanding that they have gone to a place we cannot see.


Books can be a powerful tool in helping children navigate the complex emotions of grief and loss. By providing stories they can relate to, children learn that their feelings are valid and that they are not alone in their experiences. FW Barnes Funeral Home in Ballarat recommends these books not only for children who are grieving but also for adults looking for ways to support them through their journey of healing. In recognising and addressing the pain of loss, we can guide our children toward understanding and acceptance, with love and memories that endure.