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Talking to Children About Loss Through the Mouths of Donkeys

The world has gotten just weird enough that talking to kids about loss is necessary. Just think in your immediate circle of acquaintance about how many kids are dealing with the pain of moving again, leaving their friends behind or being left. Think about the number of kids dealing with the permanent loss of a parent or grandparent or the temporary loss because of separation, divorce, military service, or even jail time. Kids have all the same emotions that adults do surrounding loss, but they don't have the emotional vocabulary.

The way to have these all too necessary conversations about loss, grief, sadness, and learning to live again gets a little bit easier with a new children's book - Squire and Daniel: A Story About Losing Your Best Friend.

Two cute donkeys, Squire and Daniel, show us the beauty of friendship as they play and romp together around their big farm. Author Ross Boone (aka Raw Spoon) then tugs at your heart by beautifully illustrating the sadness in Daniel's eyes as he is taken away from the farm. Squire goes through the ups and downs of processing his sadness, but the author doesn't leave us in a puddle of sad. He moves us into illustrative lessons about how to be brave and make new friends in ways that honor his best friend. The ending is redemptive and hopeful and it affirms that experiencing waves of sadness about the loss isn't bad or weird, it just is how it is more often than not.

Thanks Raw Spoon. Squire and Daniel has been a great read and it has helped me have important conversations with the kiddos in my life about where their grandpa is (i.e. in Heaven), about how some of the cousins live far away and how it is understandably hard to say goodbye when they need to go home, and so much more.

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