The beautifully illustrated Fred And Red Say Goodbye book has allowed me to have the difficult conversation about grief and death with my younger children.
Sadly we lost one of my closest friends a few months ago to cancer, it was a very distressing time not only for me to lose such an amazing friend but trying to explain to the younger children why they would no longer be able to see her and why she had to go away, it was difficult. Very difficult.
Weeks later my three eldest children’s great-grandmother died, the children understandably were distraught. The 3 younger children who do not have the same grandmother ( different fathers), were again shown the pain of losing someone they love.
The younger children aged 5,6 and 7 began asking questions:
Would they lose their own grandmother?
Would mummy and daddy die too?
What happens when you die?
Why do people die?
Can they not come back?
How do you explain death to a child when you don’t even understand it yourself?
Fred and Red is a beautifully written book aimed at children. to explore loss and why it’s OK to feel sad.
Fred And Red Say Goodbye helps explain loss
The story is easy to relate to and simple enough for children to understand. Fred And Red Say Goodbye is a touching story about the emotions associated with the loss of a loved one. The story follows Fred as he begins to process the news his beloved Red is sick and unable to be cured.
I had a discussion with Kia, 7 after we read the book and I do think this book has helped our family.
I asked Kia what she thought of the book and this is her words – unedited:
” There was a balloon, that had to go and the penguin was sad because the balloon was its best friend. My favourite part is when red tells Fred that he won’t be there anymore someday and the penguin tried to help him and he put a plaster on him.”
We were able to have a chat about why people we love die and that it’s very normal and OK to feel sad and to cry.
Kia questioned if everyone who gets poorly dies and I explained that no not all people who become poorly die, I don’t want her thinking everyone dies when they become ill as I fear this will cause her more distress, that’s why we have the GP and the hospital I explain.
It’s harder than you think to answer questions.
We also don’t always know why people die, sometimes they are poorly, like my friend but other times there isn’t an illness, they don’t have to be poorly to die, there are car accidents, for example, I tell her so some people may have an accident and sadly pass away.
Why do some people die and some don’t?
I wish I knew the answer to that question as God only seems to take the best people.
Death and coping with grief will be something you will have to talk with your child about at some time in their life, be it a pet that dies or a family member they lose, death is sadly something we can not avoid.
This book can prepare and help you to help them understand.
We give Fred And Red Say Goodbye a big thumbs up.
This book is available at Amazon where you will find further details.