Part of our Counselor’s Corner series. Click to read other posts in the Counselor’s Corner.
November 15 is Children’s Grief Awareness Day, which takes place every Thursday before Thanksgiving. The purpose of this day is to bring awareness to the experiences of children who have experienced grief and loss, to support students experiencing grief and loss, and to normalize the feelings associated with grief and loss. Children’s Grief Awareness Day also emphasizes that it is okay to be sad and express grief.
Blue is the official color for Children’s Grief Awareness Day. Individuals are encouraged to wear blue to show support for grieving children and their families. Although this day is observed on November 15 each year, you can host your own events to raise awareness about grief year-round. Identify local centers that support grieving children and their families. Partner with them to raise awareness at your school through programs and fundraising efforts.
Resources to support grieving children:
- Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant
- Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant
- Sweet, Sweet Memory by Jacqueline Woodson
- Tear Soup by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen
- The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages by Leo Buscaglia
- What on Earth Do You Do When Someone Dies? by Trevor Romain
- Help Me Say Goodbye: Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies by Janis Silverman
- Tess’s Tree by Jess M. Brallier
- When Someone Very Special Dies: Children Can Learn to Cope with Grief (Drawing Out Feelings Series) by Marge Heegaard
- Creative Interventions for Bereaved Children by Liana Lowenstein
- Healing Activities for Children in Grief by Gay McWhorter
Although we most commonly associate “grieving” with death, children and adults can experience grief and loss in any of the following situations:
- a loved one dies
- a pet dies
- a family member or friend moves away
- a family member or friend is deployed in the military
- a family member or friend is in jail
- a trauma is experienced
- an act of violence is experienced
- a natural disaster occurs
- job loss
- and any other situation where someone is experiencing a loss of some kind
If you are working with a student who has experienced a loss other than death, it is helpful to seek out resources related to the specific type of loss. A good place to start is Kids Health, which has articles for kids, teens, and parents on a wide range of emotions, including grief, depression, and anxiety.
How do you support grieving children at your school?
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