Sudden Death / Grief

Client and Volunteer


One of the hardest things to face is the death of a loved one or friend, this becomes even more traumatic when it is sudden and not expected.   Some of the experiences of grief could be:

  • State of shock, numbness and or loss of feelings
  • Sadness
  • Helplessness
  • Envy
  • Frustration
  • Limbo
  • Struggling with new life patterns

There are many stages of grief a person goes through. If you or someone you know is experiencing the loss of a loved one, we have resources that we can share with you to help overcome some of the hurdles.

For example, we have:

  • Before the Funeral
  • Canada Bereavement Registry
  • Experience of Grief
  • Finding Direction in you Grief
  • After the Death of a Child
  • Guilt and Regret
  • Helping a Friend in Grief
  • How to Help Someone in Sorrow
  • How to Survive the Holidays
  • Living Through Grief
  • Making A Meaningful Memorial For A Friend
  • Statistical Information To Provide to Your Funeral Director
  • The Grief Process: Am I Going Crazy

Children & Grief

Some danger signals to watch for:

  • An extended period of depression in which the child loses interest in daily activities and events.
  • Inability to sleep, loss of appetite, prolonged fear of being alone.
  • Acting much younger for an extended period.
  • Excessively imitating the dead person.
  • Repeating statements of wanting to join the dead person.
  • Withdrawal from friends.
  • A sharp drop in school performance or refusal to attend school.

If you notice these signs you may want to seek professional help.  If you would like more information, we have resources we can share with you

For example, we have:

  • Bye Bye…I Love You
  • Children and Grief
  • Children and Trauma
  • Helping Children Understand Death
  • Helping Children Cope with Death
  • My Friend Is Still a Kid: Kids Don’t Die!
  • Stages Children Go Through When They are Grieving

These are just a few examples of the resources we have at our offices.  If you are looking for more resources or referrals in your local area give us a call at 1-866-376-9852 — 24-hour contact line.

Other Books to Help Children and Their Families

A Place to Remember.  My Always Sister – coloring book. DeRuyter-Nelson Publications Inc.: St. Paul, MN.

Baznik, D. (1981). Becky’s Story- a book to share. Association for the Care of Children’s Health: Washington, DC.

Bereavement Services RTS (1998). Talking with Children about Perinatal Loss. Bereavement Services: La Crosse, WI.

Blanford, Cathy (2008). Something Happened- a book for children and parents who have experienced pregnancy loss. Something Happened: Western Springs, IL.

Boritzer, Etan. (2000). What is Death? Veronica Lane Books: Santa Monica, CA.

Boulden, Jim & Joan (1995). When Death Happens. Boulden Publishing: Weaverville, CA.

Buscaglia, Leo. The Fall of Freddy the Leaf- A Story of Life for All Ages.  Slack Incorporated: Thorofare, NJ.

Butler, Steve. (2008). A Letter from Heaven. AuthorHouse: Bloomington, IN.

Butler, Steve. (2009). We Do Remember You. Enheart Publishing: Charlotte, NC

Chin-Yee, Fiona (1988). Sam’s Story- a story for families surviving sudden infant death syndrome. CFSID: Toronto, Ontario

Clifton, Lucille (1983). Everett Anderson’s Goodbye. Henry Holt & Company: New York, NY.

Coleman, Paul (1995). Where the balloons go. Centering Corporation: Omaha, NE.

Dawson, Kathy (1998). Bye bye…  I love you. Afterloss, Inc.

Dernederlanden, Christine (2000). Where is Robert? Roberts Press: St. Catherine’s Ontario.

Erling, Jake (1998) Our Baby Died-Why? A journal and workbook for children. DeRuyter-Nelson Publications, Inc.: St. Paul., MN.

Fitzgerald, Helen (1992) The Grieving Child- a parent’s guide. A Fireside Book: New York.

Foster-Morgan, Kathleen (1995) Sunflower Mountain. Sunflower Publications: Toronto.

Grollman, Earl A. (1990) Talking about Death- a dialogue between parent and child. Beacon Press: Boston.

Gryte, Marilyn (1999) No New Baby- for siblings who have a brother or sister die before birth. Centering Corporation: Omaha.

Gunkel, Vernon (1999) Helping Children Understand Death. Ontario Funeral Services Association: Toronto.

Hansen, Warren (1997) The Next Place. Waldman House Press, Inc.: Minneapolis.

Heegaard, Marge, (1988) When Someone Very Special Dies- Children Can Learn to Cope with Grief. Woodland Press: Minneapolis, MN.

Heegaard, Marge (1991) When someone has a very serious illness- Children can learn to cope with loss and change. Woodland Press: Minneapolis, MN.

Heegaard, Marge (1991). When something terrible happens- children can learn to cope with grief. Woodland Press: Minneapolis, MN.

Ilse, Sherokee, Hammer Burns, Linda and Erling Martinez, Susan (1996) Sibling Grief. Wintergreen Press: Maple Plain, MN.

Johnson, Joy and Dr. S.M. (1998). Children Die, Too. Centering Corporation: Omaha.

Johnson, Joy and Dr. S.M. (1998). Children Grieve, Too. Centering Corporation: Omaha

Johnson, Joy. (2001). The Very Beautiful Dragon. Centering Corporation: Omaha, NE.

Johnson, Joy & Grollman, Earl (2001). A child’s book about burial and cremation. Centering Corporation: Omaha, NE.

Johnson, Joy & Grollman, Earl (2001). A child’s book about funerals and cemeteries. Centering Corporation: Omaha, NE.

Johnson, Joy and Dr. S.M. (2005 reprint). Tell me Papa- answers to questions children ask about death and dying. Centering Corporation: Omaha, NE.

Johnson, Dr. Marvin (2003). Where’s Jess? Centering Corporation: Omaha, NE.

Josephson, Karen B. & Sourkes, Barbara M. (1995). My Life is feelings. (English and French). University of Pittsburgh Press: Pittsburgh, PA.

Krasny Brown, Laurie, and Brown, Marc. When Dinosaurs Die- A Guide to Understanding Death. Little, Brown and Company: Boston.

Keough, Patti (2001). Remembering Our Baby: a workbook for brothers or sisters whose baby dies before birth. Centering Corporation: Omaha, NE.

Klicker, Ralph L. (1988). Kolie and the Funeral. Thanos Institute: Amherst NY.

Lewis, Alaric (2005). When someone you love has cancer- a guide to help kids cope. One Caring Place: St. Meinrad, IN.

Mellonie, Bryan and Ingpen, Robert. (1983) Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children. Bantam Books: New York.

Mills, Joyce. C. (1992) Little tree: A story for children with serious medical problems. Magination Press: New York

Munoz-Kiehne, Marisol. (2000). Since My Brother Died. (English and Spanish together) Centering Corporation: Omaha, NE.

Myers Trunz, Donna. (2001/2004) Laughter in the Wind. Cheerful Cherub Press. Lakewood, CO.

Nussbaum, Kathy (1998). Preparing the children: information and Ideas for families facing terminal illness and death. Gifts of Hope: Kodiak, AK.

Old, Wendie C. (1995). Stacy had a little sister. Albert Whitman & Company: Morton Grove, Ill.

Peterkin, Allan. (1992) What About Me? When brothers and sisters get sick. Magination Press: New York.

Posen Young, Robyn (2001) Samantha’s Unicorn. Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care: Toronto.

Posen Young, Robyn (2003) Jamie’s Rainbow. Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care: Toronto.

Samuels, Valerie (2005) Always My Twin- for young children who have experienced the death of their twin sibling. Trafford Publishing: Victoria, BC

Schwiebert, Pat & DeKlyen, Chuck (1999). Tear Soup. Grief Watch: Portland, OR.

Schwiebert, Pat (2003) We were gonna have a baby, but we had an angel instead. Grief Watch: Portland, OR.

Schwiebert, Pat (2007). Someone came before you. Grief Watch: Portland, OR.

Shibley Abbott, Susan (1996) Lessons. Centering Corporation: Omaha, NE.

Silverman, Janis ((1999). Help me say goodbye- activities for helping kids cope when a special person dies. Fairview Drive: Minneapolis, MN.

Silverman, Phyllis Rolfe (2000) Never Too Young to Know- death in children’s lives. Oxford University Press: New York.

Sims, Alicia M. (1998) Am I Still a Sister? Accord, Inc: Louisville, KT.

Stickney, D. (2004). Water bugs & dragon-flies- explaining death to young children. The Pilgrim Press: Cleveland, OH.

Stillwell, Elaine (1998). Sweet Memories- for children and adults… to create healing and loving memories for holidays and other special days. Centering Corporation: Omaha, NE.

Thomas, Marjorie W. (2005). What does “died” mean? (Navajo) Salina Bookshelf, Inc.: Flagstaff, AR.

Viorst, Judith. The Tenth Good Thing About Barney.  Aladdin Paperbacks: Hong Kong.

Viorst, Judith. (1972). Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Scholastic Books: New York.

Vogel, Robin Helene (1994) The Snowman- A book about children and grief. Centering Corporation: Omaha.

Wilhelm, Hans. I’ll Always Love You. Crown Publishers: New York.

Wolfelt, Alan D. (1990) A Child’s View of Grief- A guide for caring adults. Service Corporation International.

Wolfelt, Alan D. (1996). How I feel- a coloring book for grieving children. Batesville Management Services: USA.

Wolfelt, Alan D. (2001). Healing your grieving heart for kids- 100 practical ideas- simple advice and activities for children after a death. Companion Press: Fort Collins, CO.

Wolfelt, Alan D. (2001). Healing your grieving heart for teens- 100 practical ideas- simple tips for understanding and expressing your grief. Companion Press: Fort Collins, CO.

Woodward, Joan (1999) The Lone Twin- Understanding twin bereavement and loss. Free Association Books: London.

Internet Resources for Coping with Serious Illness, Grief and Bereavement

1. Why Did Baby Die- Christine Jonas-Simpson- this 20-minute documentary chronicles several families and their children’s reaction to the death of a baby through stillbirth and infant death. The documentary is based on research and reflects responses over time.  This link is available to watch the video at no cost, or you can purchase it.