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Talking with Children about Death

About Death: A Unitarian Universalist Book for Kids. About Death presents a gentle, yet unsentimental, story about how a family deals with the death of their beloved dog. The story is followed by a series of questions a child might pose about death and its aftermath, particularly the rituals and cultural customs that accompany the death of a person. The answers to these questions, like the story that proceeds them, are frank and respectful of the child's curiosity. At the same time, both the story and the questions are illustrated by lovely watercolors that say, without words, yes, death makes us sad. A short poem that follows reminds us that death is a part of life. Ages 5 and up.

Bereaved Children: A Support Guide for Parents and Professionals by Earl A.Grollman (Beacon, 1996) offers insight into how children and adolescents experience death and grieving and how adults can help them through such experiences. The book presents ways children and adults might bring various faith perspectives to the subject of death.

A Unitarian Universalist minister who has written extensively on this session's Big Question is Rev. Forrest Church. Visit his website or obtain Love and Death: My Journey through the Valley of the Shadow (Boston: Beacon Press, 2008) from the UUA Bookstore in hardcover or paperback or as an audio CD.

A 2008 Time magazine article details one scientist's attempts to find out what happens after death.

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For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.