Every 22 minutes a child somewhere in the UK will lose a parent. Many more will be affected by the loss of someone close, such as a sibling, grandparent, friend or other significant person, according to leading childhood bereavement charity, Winston’s Wish.
Here at MFM HQ we were touched by new book, The Copper Tree, from acclaimed children’s author Hilary Robinson (best known for Mixed Up Fairy Tales), which aims to help children cope with the experience of losing someone they love.
Any parent will know that it can be hard to explain the death of a loved one to a child but using the book gives parents a way to address the difficult issues and help children understand they’re not alone.
Hilary was compelled to write The Copper Tree for her own children seven years ago, to help them deal with the death of their much-loved aunt Caroline. The book is dedicated to Caroline, Hilary’s sister in law, who was a talented teacher before losing a long battle against breast cancer at only 39.
The book tells the story of a group of school children coming to terms with the death of their teacher, Miss Evans. They’re encouraged to think of everything that reminds them of Miss Evans and what she taught them in order to understand that, while sadness is an unavoidable part of grief, death is not necessarily the end and what’s left are memories that last forever.
Of course it can’t make everything better at once, but Hilary hopes her story will encourage children to begin the difficult grieving process.