Saying Good-bye to Uncle Joe –What to Expect When Someone You Love Dies is written by Nancy Loewen and illustrated by Christopher Lyles -the team that brought you Goodbye, Jeepers –What to Expect When Your Pet Dies.
The author explains that learning of the death of a loved one can be very startling. Even if the death was expected, the news can still come as a shock.
This is a good book dads can consider using to help their young children through the process of grieving.
Hear the pain in voice of the protagonist, Little Hedgehog, for it echoes that of a child:
“But we just saw him a couple of days ago,” I said…“He can’t be dead!”
Yet, gradually, with his family, Little Hedgehog says farewell to his beloved Uncle Joe. And, though he is afraid, Little Hedgehog makes an effort to attend the Wake and funeral.
Beautifully put together, this book subtly shows how children mourn.
“At school, I had a hard time finishing my work. Once, I pinched my finger in my desk. Even though it didn’t hurt much, I acted like I did. I think I just wanted to cry.”
It helps children express and deal with their unspoken fears about death.
It also helps them reach some resolution that life changes when someone has died, but moving on does not mean forgetting: “Your loved one will always be a part of you.”
Little Hedgehog concludes: “I think I’d rather miss Uncle Joe than forget about him –even if it hurts sometimes.”
Published in 2012 by Picture Window Books, USA, Saying Good-bye to Uncle Joe –What to Expect When Someone You Love Dies is available in Singapore’s Public Libraries.