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Books about dealing with bereavement

(18 Posts)
Margie32 Fri 01-Nov-13 21:20:03

Does anyone know a good book for kids which helps them understand death? My Mum is terminally ill and only has weeks to live and I'm really struggling to explain what's happening to my 3 year old DS. He loves reading and I thought that if we find an appropriate book it might help both him and me get through the next few weeks.


SlinkyB Fri 01-Nov-13 21:28:12

So sorry to hear about your Mum. I lost mine in Feb, two weeks after ds's 2nd birthday. I thought he'd forgotten her, but he's recently started talking about her.

I am also interested in getting a book now, as feeling a bit lost about what to tell him. He's kind of lead the way though tbh, as he tends to smile and wave into the sky and say "hello Granny!" (whilst I fight back tears) and tells me he can see her in heaven.

We're not religious, but if that's what he's happy with, I might just go along with it. A friend of mine explained to her 3yr old that Grandad had gone up some steps to heaven and can't come back down as they're only one way, and I thought that was good.

Margie32 Fri 01-Nov-13 21:54:02

Thanks Slinky, god it's hard isn't it? So sorry to hear about your Mum. I've been explaining to DS that Grandma is going to live in the sky but he always looks very confused.

I found this one on amazon that gets good reviews so it might be a good starting point.

SlinkyB Fri 01-Nov-13 22:15:42

It's really hard. Have you lost any pets? My friend had lost pets, so explained to her 3yr old that Grandad had gone to look after them in heaven, which I thought was sweet.

My ds is a sensitive little soul, and has been a huge comfort recently when he sees I'm sad about losing Granny. Lots of hugs and kisses, bless his heart.

Thanks for the link to the book; does it come with tissues?!

Sending you lots of strength for the coming weeks flowers

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 01-Nov-13 22:30:59

We've got a lovely one called Up In Heaven. It's about a dog but it explains how happy she is and it's quite lovely and I can't read it without welling up.

We've also got Water Bugs & Dragonflies, Explaining Death to Young Children. And Sad Isn't Bad by Michaelene (yes that is spelt right) Mundy.

And another one about some animal friends living in a wood and Fox dies. They're all very sad and they remember all the happy times and feel better. It's a lovely book.

So sorry to hear. We lost DMil last year and my dds found the books helped.

potteringpenguin Fri 01-Nov-13 22:43:25

The one about the animals is called Badgers Parting Gifts by Susan Varley. I also like No Matter What by Debbie Gliori but you need the original and not the board book as the text has been changed. Grandpa by John Burningham has either no or very few words (sorry can't remember which and my copy is on loan to another soon to be bereaved child).

Hope one of these helps and so sorry about your mum. All the research says the more you talk about it the better so you are doing the right thing but it is so hard. He is unlikely to have any real concept of death for another couple of years, so he might need to keep revisiting for a while. Winston's Wish website has lots of useful stuff on it too.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sat 02-Nov-13 00:12:04

Ooh I've found it, it was called Always and Forever by Alan Durant. Very sad but quite a positive ending I thought.

My girls think Nanny now lives in a star in the sky. It's twinkly, like her eyes. smile

Periwinkle007 Sat 02-Nov-13 19:26:04

Badgers Parting Gift is a great book IMO. We plan to use it when my dad has to go into a home with alzheimers.

LostInWales Sat 02-Nov-13 19:35:01

Only read No Matter What if you are feeling particularly strong yourself though! (Memories of sobbing through the last few pages, not very helpful to the children At All).

If you are of a religious family I know this book Heaven is for real has been great comfort to a lot of adults and children I know after a lovely local boy died. There is a book for adults but also a picture book for children.

lastnightopenedmyeyes Sat 02-Nov-13 19:38:52

We have The Sad Book by Michael Rosen. Some of it may be a bit much for a 3 year old to grasp but mostly I think it's understandable. I have a 3 year old DS.

Badvoc Sat 02-Nov-13 19:39:15

The sad book by Michael Rosen

Margie32 Sat 02-Nov-13 20:44:53

Thanks so much for all the great advice. I think I'm probably trying to distract myself from the awfulness of what is happening by focusing on getting DS through it. When the truth is that it's him getting me through it...

No pets Slinky - like your DS mine is also very sensitive and has upped the hugs and kisses count lately, bless him. Pottering thanks for the website heads up, I will definitely have a look. And I didn't know at what age my DS would start understanding death so I really appreciate your message. Ilovemydog sorry to hear about your DMiL but good to know that the books helped your DDs.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sat 02-Nov-13 23:00:53

They did help, they really did. They explained it in a way that I just wasn't able to. The water bugs one is very good. It's basically about how the water bugs climb up a stalk into the air above and never come back. The remaining bugs wonder what happened to them. One bug says when it's his turn to go he promises to come back and tell. When he does go he turns into a dragonfly and realises that he can't go back into the water, but he's got a wonderful new life as a beautiful dragonfly flying about in the sunshine. Or something like that. smile

maillotjaune Tue 05-Nov-13 18:54:04

Sorry to hear your news. The Lonely Tree is a lovely picture book which iirc is endorsed by a charity working with bereaved children (of course I can't find it now I need it!).

IndianMummy Tue 12-Nov-13 09:03:32

have a look at Michael Rosen's sad book - it's for kids a ittle older than 3, I think, but it's about feelings of grief, and quite well done, I think...

eimmum Mon 18-Nov-13 23:04:04

Margy, the one you found on amazon, I read a bit of it as it was in the Macmillan stand in the hospital when I was looking for a similar one for my children when I was told my mum had weeks to live. It looked really good and very suitable for a 3 yr old. I would even use it for my 7 year old. Maybe your local Macmillan nurses or hospice may be able to recommend one? So sorry to hear your news. It is so hard trying to explain things to your children while at the same time coping with your own feelings.

TummyMummy36 Fri 29-Nov-13 18:50:58

We lost Dad last year to Cancer and recently when I came across "The Heart and the Bottle" by Oliver Jeffers, it moved me beyond words.

SilverApples Fri 29-Nov-13 18:54:20

I don't think anyone has mentioned it yet, but the organisation has been very helpful to us in school, and has some good publications as well.

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