Supporting Children with their Grief

Creating Photo Books to Keep the Deceased Present for Young Grievers

Kellyn Shoecraft
10 min readNov 20, 2019
Image Credit: Pixabay

This is Part I of a series on childhood grief. Part II, on talking to children about death and dying, may be found here.

This Thursday, November 21st is Children’s Grief Awareness Day. Childhood grief can run deep, but because children can move from tears to laughs and smiles in a matter of moments, it’s easy for adults to believe that they’re too small to understand or assume that they’re naturally resilient. It’s also incredibly difficult to support a child’s grief when their grown-up is struggling with their own. Childhood grief is real, and not all that uncommon —one in five children will experience the death of someone close to them by the time they are 18.

My sister, Alison, with her son and my daughter. Image credit: author

I was a child when my dad died (well, at 20 I wasn’t technically a child — but I certainly felt like one). My nephew was nearly 22 months old when his mom, my sister, died unexpectedly in 2017.

My daughter has two deceased grandparents that she will never meet, and an aunt who was gone before her first birthday. It is important to me that my daughter and nephew grow up…



Kellyn Shoecraft

Navigating sibling & parent loss and trying to change the way people support each other in grief. Founder at