Child and Youth Programs

Grief is a natural reaction to death. It is the normal process that a person experiences after, or in anticipation of, the death of a loved one. Children and youth express grief and loss differently from adults and may have varying responses in different domains; for example, academic, behavioral, emotional, social, and physical. They might find themselves feeling numb and removed from daily life, unable to carry on with regular activities while saddled with their sense of loss. Alternatively, they may not fully experience the felt sense of their loss and carry on with daily life, only for their grief to surface at a later, undetermined time. The type of support that children and youth receive during their bereavement can impact their health, social relationships, and future success in life endeavors.

Program Goals

  • To provide an accepting and safe environment for children and youth to meet and talk about their grief and loss experiences
  • To provide bereaved children and youth with information about grief and loss in order to better understand their feelings of grief

Program Objectives

  • To provide safe, hands-on learning opportunities for children and youth to express their feelings of grief
  • To decrease the isolation and loneliness that children and youth may feel following the death of someone they know
  • To normalize children and youth’s grief experiences through a variety of friendship-building and grief-related activities
  • To support children and youth in strengthening resiliency skills needed to navigate future losses and life transitions

Our Guiding Principles

  • Every child and youth is entitled to the opportunity to grieve in a supportive, informed and understanding environment
  • Open communication about death, grief and loss helps children and youth to move forward in life
  • Children and youth naturally process their grief through playful, creative activities
  • Grieving children and youth need to have their questions and concerns addressed, even when unable to express them directly themselves

Topics may include:

  • Sharing our stories
  • Talking about grief
  • Expressing grief through art, music and play
  • Learning about feelings
  • Sharing special memories
  • Commemorating a special life
  • Taking joy in our time together

Recent Updates

Franny Hills (she/her/elle)
Franny Hills (she/her/elle)Child and Youth Program Manager
To learn more about Chilliwack Hospice Society Child and Youth Programs, call Franny at (604) 795-4660.
Franny’s Faves (Recommended Reading)
  • A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret Holmes

  • Always and Forever by Debi Gliori and Alan Durant

  • Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley

  • Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved

  • Finn’s Feather by Rachel Noble and Zoe Abbott

  • Ida, Always by Caron Levis and Charles Santoso

  • Missing Mummy by Rebecca Cobb

  • The Boy with Big, Big Feelings by Britney Winn Lee

  • The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

  • Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too) by Keith Negley

  • Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman

  • The Invisible¬†Leash¬†by Patrice Karst

  • Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen

  • It Will Be OK: A story of empathy, kindness, and friendship by Lisa Katzenberger

  • Fox: A Circle of Life Story by Isabel Thomas

  • Sitting Shiva by Erin Silver