Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Purple Balloon

What Adrienne Thinks About That reviews The Purple Balloon, by Chris Raschka and addresses one of the hardest things to talk about: untimely death. Adrienne writes,

Overall, this has the hallmarks of a book for the youngest children—bold images, simple text, clear type. I think the reader can enter what’s really going on here, though, through the line, “Dying is hard work....” If you have spent any kind of time with someone who is dying, then you know that dying is hard emotionally, but work? People who are dying get angry and frustrated and sad and scared; most often, they don’t want to die. Physically, though, and, ideally, emotionally, death becomes a process of giving in to the inevitable, the soul surrendering to what the body demands. That is not work. Trying to live when one’s body is ill is work; dying isn’t. Dying is a lot of work, though, for the people who are watching and caring for the dying person—in this case, this book’s real audience, adults.

8 comments:

adrienne said...

Thanks for quoting me!

For the Department of Serendipity, I had a patron in yesterday looking for books for kids about death. Those questions always make me want to cry.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Adrienne, Blogger just ate my reply. In essence, I wrote about a story my mom told at church years ago that was both simple and powerful, and was a more effective (to me) story about dealing with the death of a child than anything I've yet read.

jules said...

I loved that post.

And I'm saying hi (and I will answer your email soon. I don't like to answer in a hurry, so I'm gonna wait 'til I have more than 30 min. to sit at the computer) :)

Lone Star Ma said...

Friends of our family lost a child over ten years ago and I remember looking for books on funerals for their surviving children. I didn't really find any.

Noodle said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. While my dad's death won't necessarily be "early" or "untimely," it will be hard for all of us.

We've had a very emotional time lately, and while he has been granted a reprieve, we all know that it is only a reprieve.

adrienne said...

As a wise friend of mine said, loss is always loss, no matter when or how it happens. One of our elderly family members is in serious condition in the ICU at the moment; this will very likely be her last ailment. I think of the long and beautiful life she's led, and it's a comfort--but that won't make me miss her any less.

HipWriterMama said...

I'll have to go check this out. Sounds like something I wish I had to read when my incredible nephew, Michael, passed away a few years ago.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Wow, I'm really glad I posted this. Adrienne, I hope you're reading all of the comments!