November 2020 - Grief Awareness Resources

Disability Resource Library Newsletter

Please note that we are loaning items at this time and have established thorough policies to clean, sanitize, and disinfect all outgoing and incoming items to and from the library. If you have a critical need, please contact us.

November 2020 - Grief Awareness Resources

November is recognized as Children's Grief Awareness Month. According to the National Alliance for Grieving Children, bereaved children are often referred to as the "forgotten mourners." Many bereaved children feel isolated in their grief, unaware that they are not alone. Children's Grief Awareness Month is an opportunity to tell children they are not forgotten and that there is support, hope, and healing to be found.

Have a look at a few of the resources our Disability Resource Library provides and, as always, please feel free to reach out to Roger May, the Media Resource Specialist for the Center for Excellence in Disabilities, via email at or by phone at 304-205-6434.

Featured Resources

Arrangements for borrowing or returning resources during this COVID period can be made by calling 304-205-6434.
Browse more resources.

Grief as a Family Process: A Developmental Approach to Clinical Practice by Ester R. Shapiro

cover of Grief as a Family Process

Grief is a universal human response to the loss of a loved one, not a psychopathological condition; nonetheless, mental health professionals are often called upon to help families in grief. Accessibly written, this book draws on many sources, such as developmental psychology, psychoanalytic and family systems theory, and cultural anthropology. It extends and integrates these approaches into a systemic developmental model that emphasizes the ways grief can enhance the emotional growth of the family system. Using examples from a wide variety of cultural traditions, this book argues for a transformation of attachment to, instead of detachment from, the deceased family member to sustain and enhance family development.

You can borrow Grief as a Family Process now.

The Next Place by Warren Hanson

A classic, The Next Place brings gentle verse revealing a safe and welcome destination free from earthly hurts and filled with wonder and peace. A comforting message of hope and a gift of compassion for the bereaved. Exquisite color illustrations.

You can borrow The Next Place from our library now.

The Fall of Freddie the Leaf by Leo Buscaglia, Ph.D.

cover of the Fall of Freddie the Leaf

Appropriate for all ages--from toddlers to adults--and featuring beautiful nature photographs throughout, this poignant, thought-provoking story follows Freddie and his companions as their leaves change with the passing seasons and the coming of winter, finally falling to the ground with winter's snow. An inspiring allegory that illustrates the delicate balance between life and death, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf has helped a generation of readers navigate death and dying, grief and bereavement, the passage of time, and loss of a loved one.

You can borrow The Fall of Freddie the Leaf from our library now.

Goodbye Mousie by Robie H. Harris

One morning a boy finds that his pet, Mousie, won't wake up. The truth is Mousie has died. At first the boy doesn't believe it. He gets very mad at Mousie for dying, and then he feels very sad. But talking about Mousie, burying Mousie in a special box, and saying good-bye helps this boy begin to feel better about the loss of his beloved pet.

You can borrow Goodbye Mousie now!

When a Friend Dies: A Book for Teens About Grieving & Healing by Marilyn E. Gootman, Ed.D.

cover of a friend dies

The advice is firm but gentle, non-judgemental and compassionate The death of a friend is a wrenching event for anyone at any age. Teenagers especially need help coping with this painful loss. This thoughtful and helpful book answers questions grieving teens often have, like "How should I be acting?" "Is it wrong to go to parties and have fun?" and "What if I can't handle my grief on my own?" This book is suitable for ages 11 and up, and for parents and teachers too.

You can borrow When a Friend Dies from our library now.

Navigation Tips - Helping Children Grieve

(Adapted from an article by Kathleen Smith, PhD, LPC)

Grief is a complex emotional process for anyone, regardless of their age or stage in life. But exploring the reality of death with a child or teenager can prove particularly challenging. It’s hard enough to know how to help yourself, much less determine what to say and how to comfort a child coping with grief. So where do you start? Here are a few positive strategies for helping a young person through this process:

Use creative expression - Children can express their emotions about the loss they’ve experienced through actions such as playing with dolls or figures, creating or listening to music, painting or drawing, or even writing down their thoughts and feelings.

Find opportunities to build relationships - Friends, family, teachers, coaches, counselors, and spiritual leaders can all provide support and be examples of resilience for a child.

Tell the truth - Model honesty and openness about loss, and your child will emerge more resilient from the experience.

Enlist the support of your community - You should never have to feel that you’re alone in navigating the questions and behaviors of a young person who is grieving.

You can read the full article, Helping Children Grieve, by Kathleen Smith, PhD, LPC, here.

Circle of Parents

Circle of Parents groups provide friendly, supportive environments led by parents and other caregivers. It’s a place where anyone in a parenting role can openly discuss the successes and challenges of raising children. It’s a place where they can find and share support. Circle of Parents groups are free of charge and foster an exchange of ideas, support, information and resources.

November's Circle of Parents virtual meeting schedule is listed below. (Click on the date to register for the live meeting):

Central and Rural Appalachian Culture: What Every Social Service Provider Needs to Know to Promote Effectivess

November 19, 2020
9:00 am -12:30 pm

Zoom online webinar
Three hours of social work and nursing CEUs are available.

Understanding Appalachian culture and how the region’s history and values impact service delivery and utilization for individuals with disabilities and their families allows providers to better serve these clients.

In this course, providers will receive an overview of the central Appalachian region, it’s history, culture, and values. In addition, we will examine work practices that will build rapport with clients and communities throughout the region. Examples of how service delivery can be impacted and adapted to be better received and implemented will be woven into the training. Any social service provider working in rural communities can benefit from this training.

Registration is free, but required in advance. Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. If you have any questions, email Roger May at

A Child's Champion

a photo of Charlene Vincent

This month's Child's Champion is Charlene Vincent, a Licensed Professional Counselor based in Morgantown, West Virginia. Charlene has been working in community mental health with children in the foster care system for 25 years. She now works in private practice as a child and family therapist at Resilient Kids in Morgantown.

"Working in the mental health care field can be very challenging at times, but there are also many rewards that come along with being in this field," Charlene said. "I think the big thing that inspires me to continue is when I see kids and families work hard and their family becomes stronger and things get better for all of them. I love seeing kids learn about themselves and figure out how to manage their emotions and how to communicate their thoughts and feelings to others," she added.

Outside of Charlene's job as a therapist, she periodically presents trainings about trauma, specifically related to kids in the foster care system. "The trainings are geared to foster parents and professionals who work in the foster care system. Doing these trainings has really helped me in counseling kids who have experienced traumatic events," she said. "I also serve as the Secretary/Treasurer for the WV Association for Play Therapy, which is a branch of the Association for Play Therapy," Charlene shared. "Through this organization I have been able to meet a lot of wonderful therapists , especially in West Virginia, who are learning about play therapy and using it with their clients. That is an inspiring thing for me to see," she added.

What are some inspirational quotes that keep her moving forward? “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation.” by Plato and “Play allows us a safe distance as we work on what’s close to our hearts.” by Fred Rogers.

Thanks for all you do, Charlene!

Do you know someone you'd like to nominate to be featured as a Child's Champion in our monthly newsletter? Please let us know! Contact Roger May, the Media Resource Specialist for the Center for Excellence in Disabilities, via email at or by phone at 304-205-6434.