"Grief and Loss" is a collection of three stories that address three different experiences of grief and loss, including the grief of saying goodbye, the loss of a relative, and of the loss of a beloved farm animal.
The stories do not include imagery around an afterlife or the spiritual nature of death and life. They center on the sense of wonder and reverence about life, nature, and common life thresholds.
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About the Stories
"Little Moone's New Home" from Junkyard Tales
When Little Moone's mouse family chooses to leave the Junkyard and return to their family home in town, he can't believe it. The Junkyard has always been his home and he doesn't want to go. Soon the disbelief turns to anger. The little mouse experiences a whole range of emotions as he says goodbye to the Junkyard and starts a new adventure with his family.
NOTE: This story uses “The Five Stages of Grief" by Elizabeth Kubler Ross as a model for Little Moone's journey toward acceptance. The same stages, according to Dr. Kubler Ross, are present when people grieve anything that ends: a life, a relationship and indeed, a home.
"Star, the Little Goat Kid" from Martin & Sylvia
When one of Mr. Brown’s goats gives birth to three goat kids, brother and sister get to name them. Bubbles and Jake are both lively and full of energy — but the littlest goat kid, Star, is slow moving and won’t eat. Mr. Brown tells them that they will do everything they can for Star, but that sometimes animals on the farm don’t live very long. “It is part of life on the farm,” explains Mrs. Brown. “There is great life, but there is also death.” The following morning, they learn that little Star has died, and the entire family joins the Browns to grieve together.
"Trina the Cottontail Rabbit Kit" from Sparkle Sleepytime
Trina and her family live at the edge of a wide forest that borders an open meadow. The cottontail family tends to stay together and find food in the safety of the same spots. But one day Trina learns that her Uncle Puff has ventured to the edge of the pond and was caught alone by a passing hawk. After her father shares the sad news, the rabbit family grieves his loss together. They hug, they tell stories, they are sad. In time, they laugh, and they get back to everyday business. Every now and then Trina is reminded of her uncle and she feels sad. “That is all part of grieving,” explains her father, “and when the hard feelings come, it is best to feel them.”
NOTE: This story frames grieving and loss within the natural world where life and death or normal daily occurrences. The message of the story is that feelings must be felt, and that in time, feeling them gets easier.