The Loss Book

A Workbook for Kids Dealing with Loss

The second in the series of therapeutic workbooks to help kids cope is The Loss Book (2017). Because grief and loss are so complicated, The Loss Book is longer and more comprehensive than The Bully Book was. Loss for a child could be the death of a pet, grandparent, sibling, or other friend or family member; moving; losing a special security blanket or stuffed animal; changing schools; divorce; and even the birth of a new sibling.

About the Book

Written by Gayle Swift

“When loss crashes into our lives, it hits us hard. This is especially true for children. They lack the resources, range of ideas and strategies of adults. Loss can feel insurmountable and leave them reeling. Some kids simply stuff their feelings, numb and isolate themselves. Others camp out in denial or acting out. While these strategies may serve them in the short term, they need more effective and healthier strategies.

One excellent resource is Brooke Randolph’s The Loss Book. This wonderful resource provides an easy to follow blueprint for working through loss in small steps. Breaking it down into chunks makes the process less intimidating. It provides a boundary that limits the child’s focus to one small aspect of the loss at a time. The format of the handbook uses a range of approaches: drawing, journaling, deep thinking, and conversing with others. Every child facing loss will be able to find something useful in this handbook. Using a specific book dedicated to confronting and healing a loss helps children to set aside time and attention for examining the loss. Equally important, it also helps them to contain their preoccupation with the loss by confining it to their notebook.

Parents will also find the structure of the book useful to guide them in supporting their children through the healing process. The questions and suggestions will trigger thoughts and ideas about what they can say or do–or when to remain silent and/or only listen and observe. Much of the material in the book can also be used by parents to process how their child’s Loss impacts them. I especially appreciate the suggestion that the Handbook be stored in a place where it is accessible through the completion process.  Children can revisit their work and add to it in the future as their understanding of the loss evolves over time. Families should have a foundational conversation about the distinction between privacy and secrecy as well as identifying “safe” people with whom to share the Handbook. As an adoption coach, I appreciate the value this handbook offer families for working through adoption-linked losses.”

The Loss Book is a good book because my mom and dad can read it and find out how to help me work through my loss. It helped me remember the good times and bad times with those that I lost. It helped my counselor learn more about my losses. I think it would be a good book to help others work through their losses.”

– Brayden Simpson, age 8

“I have had a best friend die named James at the age of ten. A great grandmother and a wonderful cat named Boo Boo. This book helped me understand my loss better and get a better understanding of the situation. I would recommend this book to anyone who has went through a loss.”

– Leland Dolfini, age 11

“When I feel scared sometimes I cry about my loss. My loss’s name is Boo Boo. The book helped me understand about loss and some people might be sad about their loss and I’m sad about mine.”

– Logan Dolfini, age 8

Book Reviews

“Loss in any form can be a confusing and challenging experience for all, though children and adolescents especially. Whether you are a parent, adolescent, child or professional, The Loss Book is a simple to follow resource with a profound and lasting impact. Addressing sadness, fear, anger, self-soothing methods, memories, support systems, questions and answers, Brooke Randolph allows readers to access the multi-faceted experience of processing grief through words and/or illustrations.

A child or teenager can begin to process a loss or many losses in a non-threatening, self-guided approach, with the help of a parent, teacher or professional. As a therapist, we too often see people who have not had the opportunity to process their many losses, and many times, losses that occurred in childhood or teen years. A resource like this can help a child or teenager feel a little less alone and a bit more normal in their experience of loss and grief. What a wonderful resource!”

– Ariel Friese, MC, LPC

“What a beautifully written and thoughtful book for kids experiencing loss.  Brooke created a very gentle journey for kids to express themselves safely and fully, where they can see that there are no right or wrong feelings about loss. The workbook goes beyond current loss books by not only helping kids identify several core emotions about loss but also helping them link their emotions to behavior.  We’ve needed a book like this for a long time. I love how it invites the reader to explore how they wanted things to be different with their loss and encourages them to identify the positive supports in their life. Great job, Brooke! I can’t wait to use this book with my younger clients!”

– Cynthia L Reynolds, LCSW, LCAC

Looking for more to read?

Check out one of my other workbooks from this series.

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