When we hear the term insurance, we tend to think of only one thing: that policy you get so that when you die, your loved ones will have enough money to help them get back on their feet while mourning their loss.
I surely thought that way.
Until I became a mom. And I realized that many of the things we do as parents are somewhat kinds of insurance. Your prepared environment is your insurance to fall back on when things get frustrating and disorderly. Giving birth as natural as possible is your insurance for a healthier child in general. We do a lot of things throughout parenthood that may be hard, may seem useless while it’s done, but become very useful and fruitful in time, just like life insurance.
And these books? These are also my insurance – in case I pass away too soon and my son (and husband even) need help in processing their thoughts and feelings.
I have this all in my WHEN I DIE File, but for this post, let me share with you my chosen readings just in case. It’s also my list in case somebody else we love passes on, or even when a pet or any living thing dies.
Read more to see my list.
MISSING MOMMY BY REBECCA COBB
This is probably my favorite in the list. It talks about the feelings of the child. It starts with him and his dad saying goodbye to his mom, but he doesn’t know why. He tried looking for her, but he couldn’t find her. Then he became angry – that other children have moms. Was she gone because he was naughty? Later on, his dad explains that when someone dies, that person cannot come back anymore, because his/her body doesn’t work. Then they process together, and remember her in their own ways.
THE MEMORY BOX BY JOANNA ROWLAND
This starts with someone missing someone who died, and wondering what happens when someone is gone — do you forget that person? So this person comes up with an idea – to make a memory box of that person. I go to places that help me think of you. I look around and remember. It makes me smile. Then I find the perfect thing for my memory box.
I also like this part: Today, I’m asking everyone about their favorite memories of you. Silly, sweet. Some just so you. I’m listening to every word imagining you laughing with us.
Now, i’m making new memories. My first time on a roller coaster, trying a new sport, exploring a new place. I’ll always share these memories with you.
Beautiful book with a beautiful suggestion on how to process grief.
LIFETIMES: THE BEAUTIFUL WAY TO EXPLAIN DEATH TO CHILDREN BY BRYAN MELLONIE AND ROBERT INGPEN
This book is very factual – a great way to explain any living thing’s death. It starts with All around us, everywhere, beginnings and endings are going on all the time.
It goes on to explaining that even for the tiniest insect, there is a beginning and ending, and that There are lots of living things in our world. EACH ONE HAS ITS OWN SPECIAL LIFETIME.
Then it moves on to people.
WHEN SADNESS IS AT YOUR DOOR BY EVA ELAND
As the author said, sadness can be confusing and overwhelming at any age. This book discusses that feeling without you feeling judged. I love these parts:
Sometimes, sadness arrives unexpectedly. It follows you around…and sits so close to you, you can hardly breathe. You can try to hide it, but it feels like you’ve become sadness yourself.
Listen to it. Ask where it comes from and what it needs. Maybe all it wants to know is that it is welcome.
WHEN SOMEONE VERY SPECIAL DIES: CHILDREN CAN LEARN TO COPE WITH GRIEF BY MARGE HEEGAARD
This was a lucky find from a second hand bookstore! It talks about death (starting with an animal’s natural life cycle), but it is interactive — so the child will be asked to process by asking him/her to put photos, draw, etc.
THE WORRY STONE BY MARIANNA DENGLER
This is a story about an older person sharing how this worry stone helped her process the death of her grandfather, whom she loved very much.
Coming up next: FILIPINO BOOKS. I think you can buy them from Pumple Pie (online), or our local bookstores.
THE MISSING BLANKET BY CHEENA MARLO SAYUNO (ADARNA BOOKS)
Two children experience the loss of someone very dear to them, their mother. When she passed away, their grandmother told them to stop playing with the blanket so they could hang it on the wall – so everyone who saw it would remember their ina. This blanket was literally their security blanket and with it came many memories. One day, the blanket went missing. The story takes you through the process of grief and moving forward — sometimes, we all just need time to feel ready.
ANG MGA LAMBING NI LOLO DING BY MICHAEL M. COROZA
This is a simple and straightforward story about a grandfather and grandson. It starts with Lolo Ding’s words of wisdom in life, and how they are not forgotten even after his death.
LOLA PUTI BY RUSSEL MOLINA (ADARNA BOOKS)
This story, like Lolo Ding, is pretty straightforward. While Lolo Ding talks about the words of wisdom Lolo Ding gave to his grandson, this one talks about how Lola bonded with her grandchild through Math. She would always ask him to get pick her white hair. At the end of the book, Lola passes away. I just love the line his father told him: She’ll come back in your memories whenever you think of her. Truly, someone isn’t really gone even if you don’t see her/him physically – as long as that person is remembered.
DUMP TRUCK IN MY HEART BY GRACE CHONG (HIYAS)
This story is about a year after a dear grandmother’s death – little Liwa cannot understand why people seem to be celebrating when it still feels like there’s so much heaviness (like a dump truck) in her heart. It really is confusing, right?
Later on, she realizes what it means to celebrate someone’s life, even when that person is no longer here. Such a beautiful way to discuss this confusing stage.
So, that’s my list. I hope this helps you in building your own list as well. And if you have other finds, I would love to hear them, too. I hope you can tell me about them in your comments so I can search for them, too!
PS: Here’s another local book on death (KEYK PAAKYAT NG LANGIT BY NORICO CHUA – TAHANAN BOOKS), though I haven’t bought it because while the illustrations are more for children, I feel the content is more for grown-ups. If you’ve ever lost someone as an adult, this book might help you process.
NOTE: Amazon and Book Depository Links are affiliate links. I earn points when you purchase from my link. If you’ve learned about these books from me, would appreciate if you can purchase through these links. Also, I have no affiliate link for Pumple Pie books (online bookstore for Filipino books) but highly recommend them especially when you’re buying from different publishers (so you only pay one shipping fee). Also, they sell at SRP since they partner with the publishers.