Tag Archives: funerals

Happy Canada Day 2018!

1 Jul

My mother’s passing has left me reeling. I suppose that is because it was so unexpected. Grief is such a strange emotion and there is no one way to mourn. Two Canadian picture books do an amazing job helping young readers navigate grief and emotions.

The first is The Funeral by Matt James.

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Publisher’s Summary: Norma and her parents are going to her great-uncle Frank’s funeral, and Norma is more excited than sad. She is looking forward to playing with her favorite cousin, Ray, but when she arrives at the church, she is confronted with rituals and ideas that have never occurred to her before. While not all questions can be answered, when the day is over Norma is certain of one thing — Uncle Frank would have enjoyed his funeral.

This sensitive and life-affirming story will lead young readers to ask their own questions about life, death and how we remember those who have gone before us.

They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki is more stream of consciousness.

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Publisher’s Summary: In captivating paintings full of movement and transformation, Tamaki follows a young girl through a year or a day as she examines the colors in the world around her. Egg yolks are sunny orange as expected, yet water cupped in her hands isn’t blue like they say. But maybe a blue whale is blue. She doesn’t know, she hasn’t seen one. Playful and philosophical, They Say Blue is a book about color as well as perspective, about the things we can see and the things we can only wonder at.

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Riding out the storm with a good book

16 Oct

Oregon was under a severe weather watch for most of the weekend. What’s a reader & knitter to do but curl up with a good book and work on her knitting.

The good book I curled up with was Richard Peck’s The Best Man.

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Publisher’s Summary: Newbery Medalist Richard Peck tells a story of small-town life, gay marriage, and everyday heroes in this novel for fans of Gary Schmidt and Jack Gantos

As I was reading I got thinking about the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral.

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The Best Man  would more appropriately be subtitled Two Weddings and a Funeral. The movie has an all English cast, with one American. The Best Man has all American characters and one Englishman.

It was a delightful read. I frequently have to suspend my disbelief when it comes to portrayals of school, teachers and principals in kid lit, and this book was no exception. But I liked the book enough to get past the parts I knew to be unrealistic.

 

 

A Little Funeral Humor: A Slice of Life Story

4 Aug

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After my father’s funeral on Saturday, most people were going back to my eldest sister’s house for a reception. I drove there with my twin sister, her husband and my mother, who wanted to stop at her place on the way home so she could change clothes and drop off the flowers and urn.

When we got to her apartment building, we dropped Mom at the front door so we could park, telling her we’d carry everything in. After parking my brother-in-law, Tom, took the flowers, my sister, Andrea, took purses because she had a key to Mom’s building, and I carried the urn. Once in the building, we pushed the button for the elevator and got on as soon as the doors opened. We didn’t realize it was going down until it started. No matter. It was only one floor down.

When the elevator doors opened in the basement, a very tall man and a short woman got on. Realizing what we carried, the man avoided eye contact. The woman  took it all in with her eyes. You could see her looking at the flowers, reading the words on them: Husband, Father, Grandfather. She looked at me, the bearer of the urn, and said, “Is that him?”. All I could do was nod.

It was all over in a moment. The doors opened on the 3rd floor and they stepped out. As soon as the doors closed, we burst into laughter. I’m sure they could hear us as we travelled all the way up to the tenth floor.

Jone Rush MacCulloch

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