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  • Writer's pictureLauren Piland

Blooming Books Podcast: Illness & Loss

Guiding our kiddos through impending grief and loss can be such a tough topic, especially when we're dealing with our own emotions as well.

Our special guest, Sarah Allison, is a mom, elementary educator and children's book author who's here to share her insights on her own family's journey with Alzheimer's, and her book, The Memory Keepers, she wrote to help her girls cope and understand.

Sarah reflects on having to explain the complex issue of a mental disease with her young girls. She says, you're not going to be perfectly rehearsed for every question as they arise, but she focused on being as honest as possible, but also in age appropriate language they can understand. When the dreaded questions like, "What's wrong with Mimi?" or "Is Mimi going to get better?" came up, she'd reply with explaining how her brain is sick, and might cause her to do X, Y and Z, as concrete examples. She continues to say that as sad as it is, we need to not lead them on with false hope, and they

need to understand what might lie ahead.

These kinds of conversations are exactly why I think books can be so important to incorporate, even before questions arise, or after, to show them relatable characters, and similar scenarios to help them understand that their family is definitely not alone in dealing with heartbreak, and to help demystify what's to come. Mystery and worry can definitely amplify an already scary situation, and the more they know, understand and can predict, can help them cope in the long run.

We also mentioned The Perfect Shelter, which is a story about a little girl navigating the confusing journey of childhood illness when her sister becomes ill and undergoes treatment.

I also love Feathers From Above by my friend Kathleen Davis that lends a more spiritual notion of signs from above that our guardian angels are always near.

*links in bold 

Signed copy of Sarah's book: (along with her complete collection)

Lauren's Book Picks:

The Perfect Shelter by Clare Helen Welsh

Feathers From Above signed copy by Kathleen Davis (along with her complete collection)

Blooming SEL Resource: Our Memory Box (creating memories and collecting mementos)

Tune in to this episode on Apple, Spotify or YouTube and let me know what helps guide you and your family through tough times.

Special thanks to Sarah for being so open and honest in sharing her family's story. Connect with her @author.sarah.allison on Insta & FB!

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