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The Grief of a Grandchild by Shutta Crum

Losing a grandparent can be an incredibly difficult experience for a child, as they not only lose a loved one but also a confidant and mentor. In “The Grief of a Grandchild” by Shutta Crum, the author reflects on her own encounters with children grappling with the concept of death. From her granddaughter’s innocent question about mortality to a kindergartener’s sobering remark, these encounters inspired Crum to write a heartfelt story that consoles young worriers, assuring them that love never dies. This article delves into Crum’s personal journey and the process behind creating her touching books, “Grandpa Heaven” and “Grandma Heaven.” It also provides additional resources for children experiencing the loss of a loved one.

The Grief of a Grandchild by Shutta Crum

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The Devastating Loss of a Grandparent

Losing a grandparent can have a profound impact on a child. Grandparents often play a significant role in a child’s life, serving as confidants, mentors, and a source of unconditional love and support. When a grandparent passes away, it can leave a void that is difficult to fill. The loss is not only emotional but can also create feelings of confusion, sadness, and even anxiety in children.

The Role of a Grandparent in a Child’s Life

Grandparents play a unique and special role in a child’s life. They often serve as a source of wisdom, guidance, and unconditional love. Grandparents can provide a different perspective and offer valuable life lessons based on their own experiences. They may also serve as a mediator or sounding board for children when they have concerns or conflicts with their parents or siblings. The bond between a grandparent and grandchild is often cherished and can have a lasting impact on both parties.

The Grief of a Grandchild by Shutta Crum

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A Child’s Worries About Death

Even at a young age, children can have worries and questions about death. They may hear about it from their peers, see it depicted on television or in movies, or experience the loss of a loved one themselves. These experiences can be confusing and overwhelming for children as they try to process and understand the concept of death. It is natural for them to have fears and concerns about their own mortality or the mortality of those they love.

The Impact of Loss on Young Children

The loss of a grandparent can have a profound impact on young children. They may experience a range of emotions, including sadness, anger, guilt, and confusion. Some children may struggle with feelings of abandonment or a sense of responsibility for their grandparent’s death. They may also question their own mortality and fear the loss of other loved ones. The impact of loss on young children can manifest in various ways, including changes in behavior, mood, appetite, and sleep patterns.

The Grief of a Grandchild by Shutta Crum

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The Need for Books to Console Young Worriers

Children who are experiencing the loss of a grandparent or have worries about death can greatly benefit from books that address these topics in a comforting and relatable way. Books provide a safe and accessible way for children to explore their emotions, gain understanding, and find solace. By reading stories about other children who have gone through similar experiences, young readers can feel less alone and more understood. Books can also serve as a gateway for meaningful discussions between children and their caregivers.

The Inspiration for the Books

Author Shutta Crum was inspired to write books that would console young worriers when her own granddaughter asked her about death. This innocent question sparked a desire to address the worries and concerns that young children have about death and the afterlife. Crum recognized the need for books that could provide comfort and reassurance for children experiencing loss or grappling with their own mortality. Her personal experiences and interactions with children led her to create stories that would offer solace and support to young readers.

The Grief of a Grandchild by Shutta Crum

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The Multicultural and Secular Approach

Crum and illustrator Ruth McNally Barshaw wanted their books to appeal to a diverse audience and reflect multiple beliefs and cultures. They decided to take a multicultural and secular approach to the depiction of heaven in their books. By doing so, they aimed to ensure that children from various backgrounds and belief systems could find comfort and reassurance in the stories. Crum and Barshaw wanted all children, regardless of their religious or cultural upbringing, to feel seen, understood, and supported through their grief.

The Journey to Publication

Shutta Crum faced challenges in bringing her books to publication, as finding a publisher who understood the need for non-religious, yet reassuring, books about the afterlife proved to be a difficult task. However, she eventually found the perfect publisher in Lawley Publishing, based in Arizona. Their shared understanding of the importance of addressing this sensitive topic led to the publication of Crum’s books. It has been a labor of love for Crum, driven by her personal experiences and the profound impact of loss on young children.

The Grief of a Grandchild by Shutta Crum

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Other Titles and Resources for Grieving Children

In addition to Shutta Crum’s books, there are many other titles and resources available for children who are grieving the loss of a loved one. “I’ll Be the Water: A Story of a Grandparent’s Love” by Alec Aspinwall, “The Goodbye Book” by Todd Parr, “Dog Heaven” by Cynthia Rylant, and “My Daddy is in Heaven” by Dr. Shawna L Della Cerra are just a few examples of books that can provide comfort and support to grieving children. Websites such as Ele’s Place and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry also offer resources, information, and support for children and families navigating the grieving process.

Conclusion

The loss of a grandparent can be a devastating experience for a child. Grandparents play a significant role in a child’s life, providing love, guidance, and support. When a grandparent dies, it can leave a void that is difficult to fill. Young children may have worries and questions about death, which can be challenging to navigate. Books can offer solace and support to young worriers, providing comfort and understanding. Shutta Crum’s books, along with other titles and resources, play a crucial role in helping children navigate the complex emotions and questions that arise from the loss of a grandparent. By addressing these topics in a relatable and comforting way, these books provide a much-needed source of consolation for grieving children.

Source: https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2023/10/27/the-grief-of-a-grandchild-by-shutta-crum/