As part of the Ballymena Today bookclub we have been reading the memoir “When Breath becomes Air”. In this extraordinary book we read Dr. Paul Kalanithi writes about his experience as he is given a shocking diagnosis which leaves him facing death.
It is a difficult book to read but a fascinating look at how a surgeon became the patient. The book also deals with those who Dr Kalanithi left behind. He was married and the couple decided to have a child even though he knew that he was unlikely to be a dad for very long.
This has inspired this blog post which is to try and offer some sort of advice to anyone who is trying to explain the death of a parent to a child. Here are some books which have been recommended by booksellers in Waterstones in the Fairhill shopping centre. Suitable for children aged 7-9 here are a few of the titles which could help.
Rabbityness by Jo Empson follows a rabbit who enjoys a full and fun life. When he disappears his friends are left distraught until they begin to find the things that he left behind and take up his old hobbies.
The Memory Tree by Britta Teckentrup helps children to celebrate the memories of those that they love.
I Miss You by Pat Thomas offers a clear and uncomplicated look at how to dealing with feelings and sadness which a loved one dies.
Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley follows an old badger as he prepares his animal friends for the day he will die. His loved ones gather around and cope with the loss together as they remember all the good things that Badger taught them.
All books can be ordered or purchased from Waterstones Ballymena. Thanks to the staff at Waterstones for their recommendations.
Also if you are looking for some good resources to help you explain a tragic event to children please visit the Child Bereavement UK website which has sections dedicated to the following topics: Death of a Grandparent, Death on Holiday, Children and Funerals, When someone is not expected to live.
Please share this with anyone who can use this information. Stay tuned for our final blog post about our current book club book ‘When Breath becomes Air’.