Something Sad Happened: Helping Children with Grief

Darby A. Strickland
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Something Sad Happened helps children process their feelings after experiencing the death of someone they love and provides comfort through the story of Sunny the bluebird.

Sunny is a little bluebird who loves to sing happy songs until the death of Wren. Sunny’s heart hurts because she misses her friend, and she doesn’t feel like singing anymore. But Sunny’s Mama and forest friends gather around her, teaching her how to share her sadness with God and others. Sunny learns to remember what she can count on about God’s love and care and all the love she shared with Wren.

Darby A. Strickland uses the story of Sunny to help parents and caregivers walk with children through the complexities of grief and the questions that come with a loss. A special section at the end of the book gives parents tips for helping their children express their sorrow to God and offers ideas for remembering a loved one.

  • The second book in the Comfort for Children in Hard Times series, addressing difficult experiences that children commonly face and offering gospel hope and help.
  • Children ages four to eight will be drawn to the whimsical illustrations by Thais Mesquita.
  • The companion minibook, Helping Your Family Grieve: Lament and Remember Together by Darby A. Strickland is also available to give parents and caregivers more detailed help.
  • Also available, a plush Sunny toy birdthat gives kids something soft and comforting to snuggle when they’re sad and serves as a reminder that we can turn to Jesus in our grief. 


Darby A. Strickland, MDiv, is a faculty member and counselor at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). She is a contributor to_Becoming a Church That Cares Well for the Abused_and Caring for Families Caught in Domestic Abuse and is the author of Is It Abuse? A Biblical Guide to Identifying Domestic Abuse and Helping Victims, the Comfort for Children in Hard Times series, and the minibooks When Children Experience Trauma and Helping Your Family Grieve. She writes regularly for the_Journal of Biblical Counseling. Darby and her husband, John, have three children.


Thaís Mesquita is a Brazilian illustrator and 2D artist working across children’s publishing, visual development, and animation. She is passionate about stylized shapes, exuberant nature, earthy colors, history, and captivating characters. She is always looking forward to stories full of heart, adventure, and fantasy! Thaís has worked with many publishers and animation studios both in Germany and Brazil. She now lives in Germany as a full-time artist and illustrator.

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