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Sarah's Garden

After I heard the tragic news that one of my day care families had lost their little eight-year-old girl, I thought that their world was over. She was the most energetic, sweet, loving big sister anyone could ask for. I had the pleasure of working with this family for a year while I worked in a kinder program. Ever since that day, I knew there was really nothing anyone could do to make their pain go away. I thought and I thought, How can I help children understand that this does happen, we can t stop it, and we don t know if it will happen to our family? When children think of losing someone, they think of grandmas and grandpas, when they get really old, or family pets that go up to doggy heaven. But the reality is that death can happen at any time to anyone of us. The family had started a garden in their backyard. Family and friends contributed to planting, adding decor, gathering there for special events and sharing memories. It is beautiful. I lost my grandma when I was very young. Soon after that, it was my mom s and dad s aunts and uncles who would pass away. Another funeral here, two more there. By the time I had reached the age of twenty, I am sure that I have been to more funerals than I could count on my fingers and toes. Then when Dad passed, it really hit home. Do children really understand this when it happens? We teach them that the loved ones that we lost are angels looking over us and making sure we make it through our days, in which it is okay to cry over them. And although we cannot see them anymore, they are watching over us. It helps, but for how long? This book is not long. It s not precise to every little detail about our tragic events. It s short, it s sweet, it s sad, and it s real. Death is real no matter how old a person is. It s real. "
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