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Coping with Loss Lock Rss

Hi,

I have 2 daughters 3yr 9 months, and 18 months old. I learned today, that my dad has terminal cancer, and we are probably looking at months. My daughters are both very close to their Pappa, they idolise him, and vice versa. I'm concerned about the impact his eventual passing will have on my girls. My 3yo particularly is very sensitive. Do you have any suggestions on any books I can read to them to both to prepare them for what will happen, and what it will be like once he's gone?

Thanks for your time,
Vanessa
I'm very sorry to hear your sad news.

There are a number of quality picture books for young children that deal with loss and death. I have listed several below with descriptions to help guide your choice.

<i>Michael Rosen's Sad Book, Michael Rosen, $27.95, hardback</i>
We all have sad stuff - maybe you have some right now, as you read this. What makes Michael Rosen most sad is thinking about his son, Eddie, who died. In this book he writes about his sadness, how it affects him and some of the things he does to try to cope with it. Whether or not you have known what it's like to feel really deeply sad, its truth will surely touch you.

<i>Death in a Nut, Eric Maddern, $27.95, hardback</i>
When Jack meets Old Man Death coming towards his cottage, he realises at once what's up. "You're not taking my old mother!" he cries, and hits out at Death with his fists. With each punch, Death gets smaller and smaller, until Jack is able to squeeze him inside a hazelnut shell. He throws the nut far out to sea, and goes home...Then the trouble begins: eggs won't break, the cockerel's head won't be wrung and the butcher confesses that he can't slaughter any livestock. What has Jack done? How he discovers one of life's basic truths - that without Death there can be no Life - is delightfully retold by professional storyteller Eric Maddern, while Paul Hess's artwork gives a glorious comic lift to a thoughtful story.

<i>Old Pig, Margaret Wild, $14.95, paperback</i>
Shortlisted, Picture Book of the Year, Children's Book Council Awards 1996Shortlisted, Picture Book Division, ACT Canberra's Own Outstanding List (COOL) Awards 1998 Shortlisted, Picture Storybook, Young Australians' Best Book Awards (YABBA) 1997 Commended, Ashton Scholastic Award for Best Designed Children's Book 1996
Old Pig and Granddaughter have lived together for a long, long time. They share everything, including the chores, until the day when Old Pig does not get up as usual for breakfast. Calmly she puts her affairs in order, then she takes Granddaughter on a last long walk - looking and listening, smelling and tasting. Old Pig and Granddaughter say goodbye in the best way they know.A tender story of living and loving, giving and receiving; a glorious celebration of the world.

<i>Grandpa, $9.95rrp, Lilith Norman, paperback</i>
This is a beautiful book with exquisite, old-fashioned illustrations. Blake can appreciate Grandpa while being driven up the wall by him; the parents, too, are tormented to distraction by the contrary old man, but there is a level of compassion and understanding, which is lovely. This is not an idealised view of families. It could be said that this is the true nature of relationships across the generations.


Another more gentle story of loss and change is

<i>John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat, Jenny Wagner, $14.95rrp, paperback</i>
Rose lived with her dog, John Brown. `Just the two of us,' said Rose, until the mysterious midnight cat came along, and things began to change. This change could be interpreted as the nearing of death.


Kind regards
Brett

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