When my mother was sick last year with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor, it was easy to explain to my kids, who were all under 7 years old at the time, that Nana had a boo boo on her head and was sick. Then she passed away and it was really hard to explain what happened. I’ve been looking for books to read to my kids for months now to help them understand what happened to Nana.
Books to Read: I Miss You
For awhile, my youngest asked almost daily, “Where’s Nana? I want to see Nana!” I just didn’t know how to explain what happened in a way that a 2 year old would understand. Toddlers generally don’t know what “angels” are or who “God” is. I suppose some do, but mine does not. They need tangible things and ideas that they can visualize. I even have a hard time understanding God, especially after losing my mother, that I can’t begin to explain it to a toddler!
That’s where this book comes in. When I picked it up from the library, I stood there and read it before I even left the building. I was both crying and feeling happy at the same time. Crying for having to experience death and having to explain it to innocent kids, but also happy that hopefully this will help them understand it a bit more.
Helping Children Grieve
When a close friend or family member dies, it can be difficult for children to express their feelings. This book helps boys and girls understand that death is a natural complement to life, and that grief and a sense of loss are normal feelings for them to have following a loved one’s death. Titles in this sensitively presented series explore the dynamics of various relationships experienced by children of preschool through early school age. Kids are encouraged to understand personal feelings and social problems as a first step in dealing with them. Written by psychotherapist and counselor Pat Thomas, these books promote positive interaction among children, parents, and teachers. The story lines are simple and direct–easily accessible to younger children. There are full-color illustrations on every page.
About the Author
Pat Thomas is a psychotherapist, journalist and mother. After working as a journalist and broadcaster in the USA, she now works in the field of women’s health and child development and writes for publications such as The Guardian Company Magazine and Practical Parenting. Her book ‘MY Bees: My Family’s Changing’ was the winner of The English 4-11 Awards.