Books have the powerful potential to help us make sense of or come to grips with difficult times in our lives. At our funeral home, we have a diverse selection of books written to help people of all ages understand their grief after the loss of a loved one. Below are a few of our favorites to read with children, but we find they are inspiring at any age.

The Fall of Freddie the Leaf
Leo Buscaglia, Ph.D.

Many of us find it difficult to wrap our heads around the delicate balance between life and death. We often ponder what life is all about and wonder, “What comes next?” Leo Buscaglia, Ph.D. offers a beautiful and comforting solution to these questions in the classic picture book, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages. The stunningly simple story follows the life of a leaf named Freddie and his friends as they pass through the seasons of life on their tree. One of our favorites for over 30 years, this is a must-read for anyone who has experienced a permanent loss.

What’s Heaven?
Maria Shriver

Pulling on her personal experiences following the loss of her grandmother, Rose Kennedy, author Maria Shriver sets out to explain to children what happens after a loved one dies. Complete with beautifully soothing illustrations, this book is perfect to read with children who are processing a loss. It is also a useful resource for caregivers wondering how to approach the topics of death and funerals with their kids.

Poppy’s Chair
Karen Hesse

In Poppy’s Chair, Karen Hesse illustrates the importance of grieving together and sharing happy memories of our departed loved ones. She weaves a touching story about a young girl visiting her grandmother the summer after her grandfather died. The girl is not sure how she is supposed to have fun and do all the things they used to do each summer without her grandfather. Her grandmother explains that it’s okay to feel sad and miss her “Poppy” but they can still have fun and honor his memory by talking about him and doing all of the things they used to do as a trio. Poppy’s Chair is a good book to read with children in the weeks and months following a funeral.

A Story for Hippo: A Book about Loss
Simon Puttock and Alison Bartlett

A Story for Hippo explores the grieving process as Monkey mourns the loss of his best friend, Hippo. A simple and sweet story, Monkey learns how to work through his grief and honor Hippo’s memory by sharing her stories. Packed with big, colorful illustrations, this book is perfect to read with toddlers and young children.

Looking for more resources or suggestions? Feel free to reach out to us at (973) 239-2060.