Buying Books to Help Children Grieve & Showing a Faith Worth Following

Just days after attending the Bev Smith’s funeral, her husband Eric stopped by Baker Book House. Eric didn’t know that I worked at Baker and it was by chance (divine appointment?) that I was on the sales floor when he came in. Since this is my final week at Baker Book House, I’ve been holed up in my office madly finishing marketing pieces for the remainder of 2015. But there I was, and there he was.

After a ginger hug (he’s still pretty bruised from the accident), he told me that he was looking for some books to help his kids through the grieving process. After looking at the different options, these are the books that he ended up with:

9780834128385When a Child You Love is Grieving by Harold Ivan Smith | 9780834128385 | Acts of caring and compassion can make all the difference in a grieving child’s life. Adults can often worry about saying and doing the right thing, too often giving children quick answers instead of the support they really need. Widely-recognized grief specialist Harold Ivan Smith explains that quick answers are not what children need when they are grieving. They need support, and most of all they need to be allowed to grieve-for as long as it takes. With an ABC-like approach, Smith offers insights and activities for the parent, teacher, or friend-anyone that loves a child and wants to offer his or her support.

9780962050206When Someone Very Special Dies by Marge Heegard | 9780962050206 | This book was designed to teach basic concepts of death and help children understand and express the many feelings they have when someone special dies. Communication is increased and coping skills are developed as they illustrate their books with their personal story.

I hope these help. They seem pretty practical and I really like the idea of doing the children’s book together and illustrating memories of the one who died.

With books in hand, our conversation turned to a conversation that he and Bev shared on their way home from New Jersey. After listening to a radio sermon on evangelism, Eric and Bev both agreed that if the gospel of Christ could be furthered better by their death than their life, that they would both be willing to die. This was the day before the accident.

During the funeral, the pastor mentioned Bev’s renewed fervor for evangelism, encouraging us to pick up where she left off. He encouraged us to show God’s love to those around us.

As of this post, more than 5,000 people have read my “We are too young to buy caskets” post, which is thousands more than my typical post reach. I don’t think this number has anything to do with my writing ability. I think that Bev’s death is affecting people, and I hope that we can all follow Bev and Eric’s example of faith.

Eric told me that he was encouraged by the fact that God himself knows death and loss, but chooses to love us anyway. May we be encouraged to take that love to others and to seize every opportunity to be the gospel.

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3 responses to “Buying Books to Help Children Grieve & Showing a Faith Worth Following

  1. Hey, Josh!!!! A friend shared one of your posts on FB & I couldn’t resist checking your blog out. 🙂 I’m so glad you wrote about some book options for dealing with death. A close friend just lost her dad & her little ones are struggling to understand. I’m going to send one her way. My husband is a Children/Youth Pastor, too, and I think these would be great to have on hand at church to give away as well. I’m looking forward to reading more posts. 🙂 Good luck with your transition this week!

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