Children and Loss: Navigating the Grieving Process with YouthThursday May 02 2019 7:30 pm, Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Travel Alcove
Grief is the normal reaction to any significant loss, yet it is an experience that we try and shelter our kids and teenagers from having. Join us for an evening of compassionate conversation around the difficult topic of death and the grieving process for children.
Accompanied by Mike Goldberg - Community Outreach and Education Coordinator for Palliative Manitoba; local authors, Janet Shindle (Nana’s Magic Swing) and Julie Muller (Till we meet again: A children’s book about death and grieving) will read their books and facilitate a discussion revolving around grief and the challenge of communicating with children who have experienced significant loss.
Janet Shindle lives in Portage La Prairie with her husband and is a retired social worker.
Julie Muller lives in Brandon and is a wife and mother of three growing boys.
- by Janet Shindle
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"Nana's Magic Swing" is the story of Graham, a happy little boy who lives next door to his beloved great-grandmother, Nana. Nana hugs Graham, gives him cookies and milk, and calls him funny names. Best of all, she takes him for rides on the Magic Swing. The Magic Swing can be anything and take Graham anywhere in the world he wants to go, all in Nana’s comforting and loving arms.
One day, Graham’s world is turned upside-down when Nana dies. The story follows Graham from the shock of the news to the funeral, burial, and the aftermath of the loss. At first, Graham struggles to understand Nana’s death and cope with the changes in his life. Eventually, with the love and support of his family, he begins to realize that Nana’s memory and their experiences together will always be with him, even if she is no longer there. As Graham returns to Nana’s house and introduces the Magic Swing to his little brother and sister, he passes on the love and memories he has received and his smile returns.
This heartfelt story of love, loss, memory, and acceptance provides a soothing yet honest context and language for talking with children about death, offering support through the grieving process, and facilitating healing. Nana's Magic Swing concludes with a page of straightforward, sincere advice for kids coping with the death of a loved one.
Janet Shindle, M.S.W, is a retired social worker, mother of three, and grandmother of seven. In her years of experience in social work and public service, she has been involved with children, the elderly, and others who have struggled with loss. Janet is a strong believer in the power of stories to affirm experience, normalize feelings, provide perspective, and assist with healing. She began writing children’s stories after recognizing how challenging it can be for caregivers to find the right words to anchor and comfort a child during difficult times. She would like to be part of helping children adapt and move on in healthy ways. Janet lives with her husband in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada. Her family has taught her much about the unique ways adults and children cope with loss. Nana’s Magic Swing was inspired by the author’s grandmother (Nana) and her son (Graham), who shared adventures on a swing many years ago..