The Daffodils Still Grow: A Book for Grieving Daughters by Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell is a fantastic grief resource for children who have lost a mother.  The book is written from the first person viewpoint of a young girl, and she expresses all the ways she notices her mom is gone: No one to braid her hair like the other little girls, a room full of everything mom owned, and peering behind her for a double-take on a stranger that resembled mom.

As we know, grief is complicated, even in children.  When a parent dies, children (depending on age) don’t often know how to express the complex emotions and thoughts within them.  In fact, they may act out behaviorally as a sign that they are hurting from the loss and simply do not know how to talk about it.  The Daffodils Still Grow is an excellent resource for families who don’t know how to start a conversation about life, death and eternity.  Children may ask questions as the adult reads the tale, which breaks the discomfort in talking about such a difficult topic.

I read the book to my oldest daughter, Felicity, who is nearing five years old.  Though she hasn’t lost a parent yet (or any significant person in her life for that matter), she was curious about life and death.  She asked me, “Mommy, what happens when people die?”  And I responded, “Their heart stops beating, and they stop breathing.  It looks like they are asleep, but they never wake up.”

In turn, Felicity began asking about eternity, which I never suspected might come next.  As I write this, it’s clear that this is a natural transition from death to “What’s next?”  She was open-minded and gained a significant dose of spiritual insight as she continued, “Do we go to Heaven when we die, Mommy?  Does God live in Heaven?”  I nodded in response, but added, “We go to Heaven if we live a life of holiness and goodness, sweetie.  And God lives in Heaven, but He also lives in your heart.”

She smiled and added, “I want to go to Heaven someday!”

Children may not know how to respond to a friend who has lost a parent, either.  This book provides a stepping stool for them to grow in empathy for their peers who are grieving from the loss of a loved one.  And it’s my personal view that empathy is a virtue greatly lacking in our society, so the possibilities for learning in personal growth and communication through this book are evident.

Even more, the story ends in hope.  The little girl (main character) suddenly sees the daffodils peeking outside the window and wonders why they haven’t died, too, since her mom planted them last year.  As they rise above the ground and bloom, she realizes that the daffodils mean that her mother still lives on and, in fact, lives on in her.  The spiritual symbolism here is incredible, which is another opportunity for parents to discuss the afterlife with their kids.

We cannot approach the topic of death without also addressing the “What comes next?” question, especially with kids.  The Daffodils Still Grow is not only a necessary book for every home, but it is also a needed grief resource for kids that can be displayed and used in counseling or bereavement centers.

It’s important for us to remember that, yes, the daffodils still grow.  There is always hope in new life after a loss, especially the loss of a loved one.

Text and Image Copyright 2015 Jeannie Ewing, all rights reserved.