When someone you know dies by Ann
by Ann Benton – Pastor’s wife
Much as we would want to protect young children from some of the harsher realities of life, there are situations and times when death rears his ugly head even at the nursery window.
It is extremely difficult to explain death to a very young child; until they actually lose someone they love that way, they can have no concept of its strangeness, its finality and its pain, nor would you want them too.Until then, even to children systematically taught scriptural truth, death is just a word.
For many years there have been secular storybooks to help children understand and come to terms with the idea of death – John Burningham’s Grandpa is one such – and there has been some Christian material which broaches the subject, but not a lot for the younger primary age–group.
When someone you know dies is in the form of a small booklet, with a page of thoughtful, coloured illustration to every page of text. It draws on one of the best Christian explanations of death for children I know: the story within a story from Patricia St. John’s The Tanglewoods’ Secret. In that book an old shepherd comforting a grieving child uses the analogy firstly of a lamb and then of a conker. It is tenderly told, pointing clearly to resurrection hope.
Nor does the booklet shirk the thorny question of the destiny of unbelievers. This is done truthfully and gently and leads into an explanation of the gospel of grace and the triumph of our Saviour.
A very useful tool for parents and children’s workers.