Children, Teen & Young Adult Resources

Grieving Children Recommended Readings

  • Blackburn, L I Know I made it Happen. NE: Centering Corporation, 1991.
  • Buscaglia, L. The fall of Freddie the Leaf. NY: Henry Holt & Co., 1982.
  • Cary, E., Steelsmith, S. When You're Mad and You Know It. NE: Parenting Press Inc. (1996).
  • Cohen, C. Heiney, J. Daddy’s Promise. MO: Promise Publications, 1997.
  • Ferguson, D. A Bunch of Balloons. NE: Centering Corporation, 1992.
  • Hanson, W. The Next Place. ME: Waldman House Press, 1997.
  • Heegaard, M. When Someone Very Special Dies. MN: Woodland Press, 1998.
  • Johnson, M, Johnson, J. Where’s Jess? NE: Centering Corporation, 1992.
  • Leghorn, L. Proud of Our Feelings. Washington, DC: Magination Press, 1995.
  • Mundy, M. Mad Isn’t Bad. IN: One Caring Place Abbey Press, 1999.
  • Powell, S. Geranium Morning. MN: Carol Rhoda Books, Inc., 1990.
  • Prestine, J. Someone Special Died. CA: Fearon Teacher Aids, 1993.
  • Rogers, F. When a Pet Dies. NY: G.P. Putnam & Sons, 1988.
  • Schwiebert, Pat and DeKlyen, Chuck. Tear Soup, Grief Watch, 1999.
  • Spelman, C. After Charlotte’s Mom Died. IL: Albert Whitman and Company, 1996.
  • Varley, S. Badger’s Parting Gifts. NY: William Morrow & Co. Inc., 1984.
  • Vigna, Judith. Saying Goodbye to Daddy. IL: Albert Whitman & Co., 1991.
  • Viorst, J. The Tenth Good Thing about Barney. NY: Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 1971.

Grieving Children's Network

Pathfinders-Northern Light Home Care & Hospice

885 Union St., Suite 220
EM Healthcare Mall
Bangor, ME 04401
(207) 973-8269
Contact:Linda Boyle, Bereave. Coord.

The Center for Grieving Children

P.O. Box 1438
Portland, ME 04104
(207) 775-5216
Contact: Anne Lynch, Exec. Director
Linda Kelly, Prog. Director
Patricia Ellen, Outreach & Ed.

Transitions - Hospice Volunteers

45 Baribeau Drive
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 721-9702
Contact: Margaret Pelletier, Prog. Coord.

The Grieving Children & Teen Program

Hospice Volunteers of Kennebec Valley

ME General Medical Center
150 Dresden Avenue
Gardiner, ME 04345
(207) 626-1779
Contact: Tina DeRaps, Prog. Coord.

Program for Grieving Children & Teens

P.O. Box 819
Lewiston, ME 04243-0819
(207) 777-7740
Contact:Jake Larivierre, Program Coor.

Hospice of Hancock County

14 McKenzie Ave.
Ellsworth, ME 04605
(207) 667-2531
Contact: Barbara Clark, Exec. Director
Mary-Carol Griffen, Ber. Coord.

Grieving Children's Program

Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County
PO Box 3069
Skowhegan, ME 04976
(207) 696-5870
Contact: Linda Burkhart, Director
Andrea Smith, Prog Coor.

Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County, Inc.

25 Pleasant Street
PO Box 3069
Skowhegan, ME 04976
Tel: (207) 474-7775
Fax: (207) 474-7773

Hospice Vol. of Waterville Area & Came Ray of Hope

304 Main St.
P.O. Box 200
Waterville, ME 04903
Tel: (207) 873-3615
Fax. (207) 873-5094
Contact: Dale Marie Clark, Exec Dir.

Seacoast Hospice/Bridges

10 Hampton Road
Exeter, NH 03833
(603) 778-7391
Toll Free: (800) 416-9207
Contact: Meg Kerr, Ber. Coord.
Elain Wiesman

Pete's Place

1 Webb Place Suite 6
Dover, NH 03820
(603) 740-2689
Contact: Jan Arsenault, Prog. Mgr.
Grieving Assistance Program for Students

Victims Inc.

36 Springfield Estates
Rochester, NH 03867
(603) 330-0347
Contact: Monique Bruce

The Circle, a newsletter for those who work with and care about grieving children, is published 2-3 times per year by Suzanne Bowman. Subscription contributions are $5 and can be mailed to:

Suzanne Bowman, Editor
16 Old Ferry Lane
Kittery, ME 03904
(207) 439-6481

Grieving Teens Recommended Readings

  • Baugher, B. et al. Understanding Anger during Bereavement. MI: Production and Design. (1999).
  • Baxter, Grant and Stuart, Wendy. Death and the Adolescent: A Resource Handbook for Bereavement Support Groups in Schools. Toronto, Canada. University of Toronto Press, 1999.
  • Bode, Janet. Death is Hard to Live With: Teenagers Talk About How They Cope with Loss. New York: Bantam Doubleday, 1993.
  • Dougy Center. Helping Teens Cope With Death. Oregon: WesternLitho, 1999.
  • Dower, Laura. I Will Remember You: A Guidebook Through Grief for Teens. New York: Scholastic Inc. 2001.
  • Gootman, Marilyn E. When a Friend Dies: A Book for Teens About Grieving and Healing. Minneapolis, Free Spirit Publishing, 1994.
  • Fitzgerald, Helen. The Grieving Teen: A Guide For Teenagers and Their Friends. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.
  • Frankel, PhD., Bernard and Kranz, Rachel. Straight Talk About Teenage Suicide. New York, Facts on File, Inc., 1994
  • Grollman, Earl A. Living When a Young Friend Commits Suicide. Boston, Beacon Press, 1999
  • Grollman, Earl A. and Malikow, Max. Straight Talk About Death for Teenagers. Boston: Beacon Press, 1993.
  • Hipp, Earl. Help for the Hard Times: Getting Through Loss. Minnesota, Hazelden, 1995.
  • Hipp, Earl. Fighting Invisible Tigers: A Stress Management Guide for Teens. Minnesota, Free Spirit Publishing.1995
  • O’Toole, Donna. Facing Change: Falling Apart and Coming Together Again in the Teen Years. Burnsville, N.C.: Rainbow Publications, 1995.
  • Scrivani, M. When Death Walks In. Nebraska: Centering Corporation. (1991).

Resource Links for Children

(Links coming soon!)
  • Kids' Questions and Answers (Online Q&A for Kids)
  • KIDSAID: Home Page (Chat rooms, activities, games)
  • Writing the Heartache (Activities)
  • GROWW - Grief Recovery Online (Chat rooms)
  • KIDSAID Questions & Answers
  • Dougy Center

Resource Links for Teens

(Links coming soon!)
  • Teen Grief
  • HFA Caregiving and Loss: Family Needs, Professional Responses
  • Dougy Center

Teens and Young Adults Program

Teens and young adults grieve differently than young children. It can be difficult for you to express your feelings or to even know how you are feeling. Friends do not typically understand your grief and loss. Finding a safe place to confidentially share your feelings and receive support from other teens experiencing loss can be an important step in your healing process.

Your town may be close enough to access the services of Pathfinders or other grieving program.. If your local area does not have a support program, we are hopeful the information on this website will be helpful; particularly the recommended reading lists and resource links.

The program is designed to provide support to children as well as teens and young adults. They are provided their own confidential environment to share with their peers that have experienced the loss of a loved one.

1. Who goes to Pathfinders?
If you are grieving the death of an important person in your life and are between the ages of 4 and 21, you and your family/caregivers are welcome at Pathfinders. Children, teens and young adults are assigned to different groups depending on age. Adults have their own groups.

2. How do I get to go to Pathfinders?
After the person you know dies, your parent(s) or caregiver(s) can call the Pathfinders Program Coordinator to schedule an intake interview. Once you and your family meet with the coordinator and the program is explained in detail, answering any questions, you and your family can decide if Pathfinders will be right for you.

3. I am a teen. Someone important to me died, but my parents didn't know the person very well. May I attend by myself?
Absolutely. Teens may attend Pathfinders without an adult as long as a signed permission slip by the parent(s) is provided. The teen may want the parent(s) to attend the first evening and the last evening of Pathfinders. Teens need to go through the same intake interview process as a child and family would be expected to do.

4. Is Pathfinders a sad place to be?
No. Pathfinders is a support group where grieving children, teens and families come to talk and share feelings about the people in their lives who died. Most of the time, Pathfinders is a very lively, happy, fun-filled place to be. Sometimes memories and stories are shared and feelings of sadness are experienced. However, it is okay to be sad, even cry, if it helps in feeling better. Pathfinders is a safe place to share all kinds of feelings.

5. Is going to Pathfinders like therapy or counseling?
No. Each group at Pathfinders is lead by two facilitators who assist everyone in the group. Group members are peers who are encouraged to provide support to one another. You cannot get a group experience one-on-one with a counselor. Facilitators do not counsel or advise in therapeutic matters. The facilitators' job is to assist in helping the group stay focused, provide safe boundaries, educate in children's/teen grief and support each participant.

6. Are facilitators like teachers?
Not really. Facilitators have had training to help make sure conversation flows fairly and people in the group are treated with respect and kindness. They have learned a lot about the differences and similarities in children's grief and adult grief. They do teach the vocabulary around grief to help families keep talking and caring for one another. Facilitators are probably best at listening. They know there is no right or wrong way to grieve; we each do it our own way. We can learn from and help one another.

7. What happens at Pathfinders?
Much activity, talking and fun happens at Pathfinders. New friends are made and ideas and emotions are expressed in a safe place. Everyone at Pathfinders is grieving. Children learn more about adult grief and adults learn how children grieve. Adults and children alike learn how to cope with the emotions grief brings, how to live with the changes that death forces upon a family and how to express feelings in healthy ways while taking care of themselves and each other.

8. What kinds of activities do kids do?
Kids at Pathfinders have made impressive clay sculptures, masks and sand art, torn up phone books and thrown eggs, made treasure boxes, stress balls, dream catchers, pillows, Zen gardens, garden stones, scrapbooks and journals. Often kids bring in their own ideas about creatively expressing themselves and honoring the persons in their lives who have died.

9. Do teens do the same kinds of "activities" that the younger kids do?
Teens tend to want to just hang out and talk. Discussion is an important part of group. Confidentiality is highly stressed. Videos are shown occasionally so that teens can more easily identify with other kids their own age who are experiencing what they perceive to be "their world falling apart" after a death. Teen group facilitators act as boundary keepers, guides and listeners. Once the group has found its' own "group identity", facilitators tend to encourage the group to support one another and surrender to "group driven activities". Certainly any activity that the younger ages partake in can also be adapted to have equal meaning for the teens. Music is extremely effective when used with teens in giving them voice to what they are feeling.

10. What have other kids said about attending Pathfinders?

At Pathfinders I learned:
  • “ …it’s better to talk than hold it in.”
  • “…I’ve changed because now I can talk about my grandmother (who died) without crying all the time.
  • “…how to not get too uptight in school. I pay more attention now.”
  • “…that painting and making butterflies is something fun to pay attention to instead of being upset all the time because someone died.”
  • “…it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be sad and upset.”
  • “…I liked making paper tape dummies because I could “whack” them and get all my anger out.”

Pathfinders helped…
  • “…me by being with other teens and having their support. Just to be able to laugh, joke and have a good time for a short while at Pathfinders was most memorable.”
  • “…me think about the good times. I also realized that my mom was a good person but she just had problems of her own that caused her to not be able to take care of us.”
  • “…when we threw eggs and ripped phone books. It helped all my anger go away.”
  • “…all my bad dreams go away. I would come back because it helped me a lot.”
  • “…me and my mom. We did the phone book thing at home and she cried. I think it was okay because we talked about my dad and I felt better.”
  • “…it gave me the courage to think about the good times I had with my dad and not miss him as much.”
  • “ me make friends in my group; my friends made it a lot easier to talk about my feelings.”
  • “…me understand why certain holidays and special days make me remember my mom more and why I get sad.”
  • “…to make me feel less alone. I am not the only teen who has had a brother die by suicide. The people in my group helped me feel okay to talk about it.”.