Help young children explore the ways people experience grief when someone dies.
Gentle and reassuring, What Does Grief Feel Like? shares the many ways people can grieve when a loved one dies and validates children’s unique grief experiences. Open-ended questions throughout the book invite children to share what they are thinking, feeling, and going through:
- What did you feel after your special person died?
- What happens when your grief gets too big?
- What do you do in your family and community to help your grief?
About the Author
With training as a child life specialist and grief counselor, Dr. Korie Leigh has spent over 16 years specializing in working with children and families experiencing grief and loss. As an associate professor and program director, she teaches graduate courses on child development, death, dying, and bereavement.
Dr. Leigh obtained her Ph.D. in transpersonal psychology, where she wrote her dissertation on the lived experiences of bereaved parents. She also holds an M.A. in public health and grief counseling and a B.A. in child development. She speaks and presents at national and regional conferences on issues of grief, loss, and coping.
Dr. Leigh lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Mike Malbrough is the illustrator of You Made Me a Dad and the Warren & Dragon chapter book series and is the author-illustrator of Marigold Bakes a Cake, Marigold Finds the Magic Words, and Love Is Here.
During Mike’s more than 20-year career, he has illustrated, designed, or built puppets, whales, robots, monsters, video games, hip-hop clothing, logos, retiring coworkers, and cute animals, but this winding road of doodling and artistry has, at last, landed him back home where his journey began, telling stories for kids and families.
Mike lives in northern New Jersey with his wife, two children, and his cat Agnes, who used to hate him, but now won’t leave him alone.
“Thoroughly child friendly in tone, style, organization, and presentation, What Does Grief Feel Like? is deftly illustrated by Mike Malbrough and is unreservedly recommended.”
— Children’s Bookwatch
“This gem should be in every school, and in just about every home and workplace, too. It’s high time that we brought this necessary and fundamental human experience out of the shadows. Thank you, Dr. Leigh, for doing exactly that, and just in time.”
— BJ Miller, M.D., author of A Beginner's Guide to the End: Practice Advice for Living Life and Facing Death
“What Does Grief Feel Like? is a beautifully illustrated, interactive book for children grieving significant losses. Rather than instruct them how to feel, it allows them to explore their own feelings and experiences with gentle guidance and understanding.”
— Donna L. Schuurman, Ed.D., FT, senior director of advocacy and education and executive director emeritus, Dougy Center
“A beautiful and tender book for children that will expand the emotional capacity and depth of understanding for them and the adults who love them.”
— Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, professor at ASU and author of Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief
“What Does Grief Feel Like? is a gift to grieving families. Through storytelling, this comprehensive resource empathetically guides young readers through the complex emotions of grief while simultaneously educating the adult reading alongside them. This sensitive book validates the overwhelming emotions felt when someone we love dies. Every person needs this book as death will affect us all at some point in our one precious lifetime.”
— Amie Lands, author of Perfectly Imperfect Family and Navigating the Unknown
“What Does Grief Feel Like? is a beautifully illustrated and thoughtful book that allows children to explore the many feelings of grief they may be experiencing after the loss of a loved one. As a child explores the book’s gentle questions and empathetic text, they will come to see that the emotions surrounding grief take many forms, and all of them are perfectly normal. Dr. Leigh’s book also includes ‘A Guide for Caring Adults,’ an essential guide for any adult who is helping a child navigate the loss of a loved one. Highly accessible for both parents, caregivers, and professionals, Dr. Leigh’s calm, reassuring and respectful voice shines through. This book is a must for any professional working with children in a therapeutic setting, essential for families facing loss, and for any child who is grieving.”
— Jeanette Molineaux, MA, CCLS, learning specialist, certified child life specialist, and parent educator
“The ways children grieve are often mysterious, both to themselves and to the adults around them. This book is an incredibly valuable resource that helps kids understand the grief process and at the same time provides practical information for the adults who are supporting them on their journey of loss.”
— Claire Bidwell Smith, author of Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief
“With What Does Grief Feel Like?, Dr. Leigh addresses the experience of loss and sorrow for young children. She has created a powerful tool for both clinicians and families. The text is written in clear, age-appropriate language to help children understand and manage the complex feelings that grief evokes. Additionally, the resource list is invaluable. Dr. Leigh’s book will become an indispensable resource and an important contribution to the body of literature addressing children’s grieving.”
— Dr. Kathy Hull, clinical psychologist and founder of George Mark Children’s House