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Talking with Children about Death

Find useful information on the Hospice Net website.

Bereaved Children and Teens: A Support Guide for Parents and Professionals by Earl A. Grollman (Boston: Beacon Press, 1996) compiles the wisdom of 14 experts in a comprehensive guide to helping children and adolescents cope with the emotional, religious, social, and physical consequences of a loved one's death.

The Grieving Child by Helen Fitzgerald (Fireside, 1992) offers guidance on how to explain death to children and includes sections on visiting the dying and attending a funeral.

For help in guiding children to find their own answers to a variety of topics, including death, read Small Wonder by Jean Grasso Fitzpatrick (Penguin, 1995).

About Death: A Unitarian Universalist Book for Kids. About Death presents a gentle, yet unsentimental, story about how a family deals with the death of their beloved dog. The story is followed by a series of questions a child might pose about death and its aftermath, particularly the rituals and cultural customs that accompany the death of a person. The answers to these questions, like the story that proceeds them, are frank and respectful of the child's curiosity. At the same time, both the story and the questions are illustrated by lovely watercolors that say, without words, yes, death makes us sad. A short poem that follows reminds us that death is a part of life. Ages 5 and up.

Our Unitarian Universalist Sources

A book highly recommended for this program is A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism by John A. Buehrens and F. Forrest Church. Each section includes two essays focusing on the six Sources of Unitarian Universalism.

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