How To Explain a Suicide to a Child

Gentle Willow is a beautiful story that helps explain death to children.

I’ve been crying for hours preparing to write this. I read a story on social media about someone’s partner dying by suicide. They have a four year old daughter and a seven year old son. Just a few weeks before mother’s day they would find out their mother wasn’t coming home. My heart was and is completely broken for everyone involved.

Angel Catcher is a journal where children and families can answer prompts about a loved one that has passed to help memorialize the person.

The person who posted is a friend of mine only through social media, but a friend none the less. She asked me if I had any suggestions for explaining to them what happened. My go to is always a book, but in this case I didn’t even know if there was one that could convey something so awful to a child. I promised her I would see if I could find one. Over the next few weeks I read at least forty books on grief and losing loved ones. There was nothing specific to suicide, but I did find a few that I thought were appropriate in the situation.

I debated sharing the list here on my blog, but seeing as how this is a growing and generally misunderstood issue I thought it might help others too. I hope absolutely no one ever clicks this link because it’s just not fair that you might need to. If you do find yourself here, my whole heart breaks for you. Here are a few books that can help ease a child into the healing process. I think these would be fine to use in any situation where a child loses a loved one to death.

When Someone Very Special Dies is a drawing prompt book used by grief counselors to help children cope with loosing a loved one.

Gentle Willow: A Story for Children About Dying by Joyce C Mills

When Someone Very Special Dies by Marge Heegaard

Angel Catcher for Kids: A Journal to Help You Remember the Person You Love by Amy Eldon

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerffeld

Quickly running out of kleenex over here. – DQ

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15 thoughts on “How To Explain a Suicide to a Child”

  1. You are a good friend. My heart is full of sorrow that your internet family is going through this trying time, but they are lucky to have you to stand by them. Thank you for sharing what you’ve found.

    Liked by 1 person

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