Moms Must Read:
Books to Read in Times of Tragedy
In light of yet another heartbreakingly violent episode at a school and more recently, the tragic ferry accident in Seoul, I thought this was a particularly good time to face how we discuss tragedy, violence, death, and dying with our kids. This is a conversation no parent dreams of having but more often we are faced with. What are we to do when wanting to comfort a scared or grieving child? We are struggling to process it in our own minds; the last thing we want to do is explain tragedy to our little ones. When I was faced with my own tragedy, I turned to books.
To be sure, books don’t have all of the answers but they are a start. Books are an excellent resource when you don’t know what to say, where to go, or how to begin. Books can comfort you and let you know that you’re not alone, or their methods can be so ridiculous that they are unhelpful, but at least show you what not to do. The following are three books that have helped me during a difficult time in my life..
1. HEALING A CHILD’S GRIEVING HEART: 10 PRACTICAL IDEAS FOR FAMILIES, FRIENDS AND CAREGIVERS BY ALAN D. WOLFELT
“A grieving child’s life is like a piece of paper upon which every passerby leaves a mark. What kind of mark would you like to leave on the life of the child whose heart and soul have been touched by the death of someone loved?” I found this book to be amazingly helpful. Inside it contained more than 100 helpful activities for dealing with grief and mourning. Tip 12 is an example: “Consider the child’s relationship to the person who died…Each child’s response to a death depends largely upon the relationship she had with the person who died…Set aside your own thoughts and feelings and enter her world as you consider this point.” See what I mean? Useful stuff. A child’s grief is not the same as your grief and must be treated differently than yours. Once I grasped that concept, I was able to move through the other practicalities of the book and construct a strategy that worked for each child separately.