Why?: A Story for Kids Who Have Lost a Parent to Suicide



Oliver’s mommy tells him how much his daddy loved him and ensures he knows he always will. She explains the awful sadness his daddy felt before he took his own life. She tells him his daddy died because he wanted “to get away from the sad, scary, and dark feelings.” He died, she says, “to stop the deep dark sadness” he felt. Together, they grieve and visit the gravestone with his daddy’s name etched into it. They savor the happy memories and the photographs of his daddy before he got sick and fell into the abyss of depression.

This is a unique and much-needed text for children who’ve experienced the loss of a parent due to suicide. The author is age-appropriate in the dialogue she provides and is genuine in her attempt to expose the raw feelings of such a loss and its devastating effects on loved ones, especially those who are little. She includes back-matter for parents and others dealing with such tragedy and offers helpful, research-based knowledge and suggestions for those in need. This is likely to play an integral part in the healing process for young ones who are hurting and searching for answers.

Additional information

Book Author

Melissa Allen Heath, Frances Ives




December 2023



Page Count

32 pages

Publication Date



American Psychological Association

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