Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Almost back in the swing here...

Please accept my apologies for the absence of posts here at scrumdilly-do! The month of May proved to be a difficult time for me as my dear Grandmother passed away. I had been her caregiver for the last eight years and a large part of my life revolved around her. The loss, though expected (she was 95!), swallowed me up and from there I got sick and then sicker and then sick again followed by the start of a summer job.With that put out there for you, I would like to take a moment, a single post to encourage you to introduce the topic of death and dying to your wee ones. It doesn't have to be done in a lesson plan kind of way but don't shy away from it. Children have an enormous capacity for empathy and understanding. Keep your mind and your heart open to discussing it when it is appropriate and when the topic comes up. Look for those "teachable moments" whether they include the loss of a pet, an encounter with a dead bird, a squashed bug, a dying plant or a playmate's loss. I once had a young child in my care suddenly start crying on the drive to school. when I asked what was happening she told me she didn't want her mother to die. Since I was driving I had to figure out a way to comfort her with words and so I acknowledged her sadness and asked her why she was thinking of it at that moment. From there we discussed ideas of death and dying. she told me all about her idea of heaven and what she wanted and after a while the tears went away, though I think mine began after I dropped her off as it was a wonderfully beautiful moment. If a child brings the topic up first, listen to them and ask questions. Figure out where the worry is coming from. Don't explain too much, embrace the moment. If you are interested in book titles dealing with loss and grief, you can find a listmania list here. The picture above is the cover a recently read title that I stumbled upon a few months ago. Is Grandpa Wearing a Suit? is a beautiful and melancholy story and I think some children will respond well to it. I always tend to lean towards the "have your books ready BEFORE you need them" route. It takes the mystery and some of the scariness out of the topics.

I hope to add some fun soon to the blog. I've got some more strawberry basket ideas kicking around in my head. Now I need to find the time to DO them! Thank you for hanging in there with me!


  1. Oh Jek! I am so so sorry for your loss. I know how close you were to her and my heart breaks for you. It's wonderful that you were there for her for all those years - I'm sure you were a huge blessing to her. I'll be thinking of you. Hugs.

  2. beautiful post... i am a lurker here at your site... which i love!!

    I agree, our children have been to quite a few funerals (great grandparents, my mothers neighbour etc ) and I wouldnt have it any other way... kids cope very well, and i think this is good should something ever happen to their parents or grandparents they will be prepared....

    my sister in law kept her kids away from great granparent funeral thinking they couldnt cope... but my kids did fine!!

    another tip if you believe in heaven and our spirits is to do the old hand in the glove idea before going to a funeral... we do ..we say the body is the glove going in the ground and the spirit "our hand" is going to heaven... they love it and good way to explain it all.

  3. First, I wanted to tell you that I am sorry for your loss. No matter how expected, death is always so... rending, isn't it?

    I have seen your slideshow tribute to your Grandmother. I thought that it was beautiful, both in the thought of it and in the exectution of such a lovely idea. Your love of your Grandmother shines strong.

    May you always be blessed by the relationship you two shared. Thinking of you. Blessings. ~ R

  4. I am so so sorry that you lost such a precious person in your life. I lost a baby just over a week ago, and while its definitely not the same thing, its grief all the same. I'm crying with you dear friend....


  5. So sorry to hear about your grandma's passing. And there is that eternal hope that she passed on to a wonderful place. Take some time off to enjoy a rest and enjoy the summer.

  6. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I think it is wonderful that you were her caregiver. And what a wonderful life she must have lived! I do so enjoy your site and look forward to your upcoming projects. Thank you for the book recommendation. Sometimes a book is a great springboard to discussions with kids. This topic is one I am not sure how to approach with my son, so I agree about getting the books ahead of time that might be of some help.

  7. I'm sorry for your loss. I enjoy your blog and look forward to more posts as you ease your way back into the blogging world. I hope the summer proves to be a much happier time for you and your family.

  8. I found this site through your flickr photostream via Wardrobe Remix, I am so sorry to hear of your Grandmother's passing. She was a beautiful woman and it looks like you have wonderful memories of her to hold on to.

    Thank you for sharing her story, and thank you for reminding us to listen and talk with our children about death. It is so important that we listen to what the kids think, they have amazing things to say.