Thursday, January 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Dealing with Death: Badger's Parting Gifts by Susan Varley

Badger's Parting Gifts written and illustrated by Susan Varley was published in 1984. This beautiful book tells about Badger who is getting old. He is no longer able to run or play and knows he must soon die.

"Badger wasn't afraid of death. Dying meant only that he would leave his body behind and, as his body didn't work as well as it had in days gone by, Badger wasn't too concerned about that. His only worry was how his friends would feel when he was gone. Hoping to prepare them, Badger had told them that someday soon he would be going down the Long Tunnel, and he hoped they wouldn't be too sad when it happened."

Badger dies, and his friends are very sad. This book shows the grief process. "In bed that night, Mole could think only of Badger. Tears rolled down his velvety nose, soaking the blankets he clung to for comfort."

The seasons change, and Badger's friends begin remembering and talking about all the things they learned from Badger. They realize that these things were parting gifts that they could pass on to others.

"As the last of the snow melted, so did the animals' sadness. Whenever Badger's name was mentioned, someone remembered another story that made them all smile."

At some point, everyone will experience the loss of a loved one. This book gently teaches about death, grief, and healing.

Read to a child today, even if that child is you.

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