Grieve Out Loud is always striving to find new ways to help reach friends and families dealing with pregnancy and infant loss. Today we announce a very important Pen-Pal. Someone who has personally helped me through the roughest patches of my own grief. Someone who represents an entire generation of individuals who might not have a voice in grief.
She represents all the Grandparents of pregnancy and infant loss. The loss of a grandchild is just as heartbreaking for grandma and grandpa as it is for mother and father. Their grief is doubled. Seeing their son/daughter in pain along with grieving for their grandchild. They often grieve in silence as not to upset the family. Please take a moment to thank Koko for joining GOL and read a little bit about her experience with losing a grandchild.
“At my senior center, I have encountered several situations that have truly hurt me. For example, some one will announce the birth of their new grand baby and show off pictures, or tell how they were in the delivery room. Most will avoid you like the plague once they know. Like losing a baby is contagious.”
Koko can also help with things such as the subject of explaining death (age appropriately) to living grandchildren, tips on how to interact with living grandchildren without becoming (overly) emotional, or crafting memorial projects with the grandchildren.
If you have any questions, or would like to join Koko as part of the Grandparents Pen-Pals please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Each month we will be posting a book review dealing with pregnancy and infant loss. This months review comes from our team member Melissa T. who has reviewed Doris Stickney’s Water Bugs & Dragonflies – Explaining Death to Young Children, Illustrations by Robyn Henderson Nordstrom.
Explaining death to a child is difficult, luckily Water Bugs & Dragonflies exists to help illustrate and educate young children about death.
This story is about a colony of water bugs that live in a pond and explains death as some of their colony disappears. The story goes on to talk about the transformation that takes place once a bug goes up into the air and out of the water. Once the bug gets out of the water he gets his wings and in the end flies off happily knowing one day he will see the rest of his bug friends when they also get their wings.
I think this story can either be told as a religious story, with the pond being earth and the air being heaven or it could be told just as it reads.
I really like this story for two reasons. After my son died I struggled to find something that reminded me of him and because of a few different things that happened while I was pregnant, I settled on dragonflies so the book reminds me of my son. The other reason is the very simple and colorful illustrations are really good for kids, there is not so much going on that they lose focus like some kids books.
My favorite part of the book is the ending with the dragonfly flying off happily into its new world of sun and air. It always makes me think of an angel.
I would recommend this book to anyone with a child who they are trying to explain about death in a way that will make sense to them or to anyone that just loves dragonflies.