We believe that books are an important tool to guide children through life’s journey. In our latest blog we recommend 4 books to help your little ones when they are grieving a significant loss.
Unfortunately, there is a high chance that at some point in their childhood a child will suffer the sadness of the death of an important person in their lives. It may be a friend, a grand-parent, a pet, a parent or seeing tragedy unfold in the news. How we help that child through the grieving process is vitally important to their wellbeing now and in the future.
Children struggle to understand and deal with grief, we all do, but for children who struggle to comprehend life and death the impact of not talking about it can prolong the heartache for a long time.
I don’t pretend that books are the solution or the placebo to reducing grief but they can certainly help encourage children to talk about feelings and emotions. So, my top four recommendations are:
The Heart and the Bottle, Oliver Jeffers
This book is beautiful, helped by the illustrations, and brevity of the accompanying words, but the real marvel of this book is how it tells us all that we can’t lock up or bottle away our hearts and emotions. A story of love and loss and being able to learn to reconcile that loss and finding joy once more.
Sad, Michael Rosen
Michael Rosen wrote this book to discuss his feelings after his son died. This book is one of a kind. Exceptional. So special that you will never want to part with it. Although it talks about death it also talks about our feelings and how we sometimes hide them because we think we have to. This book doesn’t try to pretend that sadness is easy, in fact it makes it very clear that it hurts. The relief of acknowledging this is very healing.
Badger's Parting Gifts, Susan Varley
A sensitive and comforting story about Badger's friends who have to come to terms with his death. Discusses grief and learning to accept it and how the passage of time helps his friends learn to smile again when they think of Badger.
Badger is so old that he knows he must soon die, so he does his best to prepare his friends. When he finally passes away, they are grief-stricken, but one by one they remember the special things he taught them during his life. By sharing their memories, they realise that although Badger is no longer with them physically, he lives on through his friends.
No Longer Alone, Joseph Coelho and Robyn Wilson-Owen
Our newest book and absolutely perfect to help children through a sad time, a loss or difficult feelings to express. This touching picture book subtly deals with big emotions such as loss, with an uplifting and hopeful message about being yourself and the importance of family and talking about worries.
Told through the voice of a little girl who is labelled as quiet and shy, No Longer Alone follows her tumult of emotions as she navigates the world around her. But when she finally shares her feelings and tells her Dad all the things that are worrying her, she no longer feels so alone.
A beautiful Poem by Christina Rossetti
Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay. Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you plann'd: Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray. Yet if you should forget me for a while And afterwards remember, do not grieve: For if the darkness and corruption leave A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad. We hope you find words and books to help sad hearts.