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Grief and Loss Resources

Grief and Loss

Grief is a universal experience, as it is a normal and natural response to a loss or change of any kind. The loss may be the death of a caregiver, a friend, other family member, or a family pet. Additionally, a life change may occur due to the experience of a natural disaster, loss of a home, moving into a new area, a family event such as a divorce or new marriage, or even the challenges related to a new diagnosis of a physical illness or disability.


Grief may not feel natural, in part, because we cannot necessarily control our emotions or other responses. There are many theories and models of grief that provide helpful frameworks for those going through the grief process. However, grief work is a unique experience that each person navigates in a different way.


Supporting Grieving Youth

Don't put a time limit on the process of grieving


Listening or sitting with someone is enough sometimes- you don’t have to talk


Make opportunities to share memories of the loss (person who has died): draw, paint, make a collage, write stories, poems, etc.


Acknowledge the person's pain and distress whatever the loss - large or small


Reassure the person that grief is a normal response to loss and there is no wrong or right way to grieve


Provide a safe space; have a regular routine


Give honest, adequate and appropriate information relative to the person’s age and understanding


Acknowledge feelings and give support when the child is overwhelmed by feelings


Be aware of the special or unique circumstances of the loss


Be aware of your own grief and/or feeling of helplessness



   A Death Within the School Community



A death can affect a school community at various levels. Those affected directly or indirectly may include an individual student, teachers, other school staff, a class or student community and families. The experience of the death and associated grief will affect people in different ways.


Death by suicide will affect each individual and community differently. Some people may appear obviously affected while others may not. Regardless of those directly affected, the suicide death of a student, teacher or family member will have an impact on the community as a whole.


Staff and families within the school community will each have unique responses, which will vary according to such factors as age, level of understanding, the person's relationship to the person who has died, as well as previous experiences of grief and bereavement.



Little Tree by Julie Bourla

A Quilt for Elizabeth by B. Tiffault

Jasper’s Day by Marjorie Blain Parker

Everett Anderson’s Goodbye by Lucille Clifton

The Happy Funeral by E. Bunting

I Miss You: A First Look at Death by Pat Thomas

Emily’s Sadhappy Season by S. Lowden-Golightly

The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, Judith Viorst

Mustard by C. Graeber

A Taste of Blackberries by D. B. Smith


Other Resources for Parents/Guardians:









Grief Counseling:

Kemmons Wilson Family Center for Good Grief

1520 W Poplar Avenue

Collierville, TN 38017


Services include grief counseling, grief support groups and grief camp programs for children, teens and adults. Bereavement services are free of charge and are made possible through individual donations and grants funded by the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation, The Kemmons Wilson Family, and various organizations and individuals.