WHEN A GRANDPARENT DIES: A KID’S OWN REMEMBERING WORKBOOK FOR DEALING WITH SHIVA AND THE YEAR BEYOND by Nechama Liss-Levinson [Jewish Lights Publishing], $14.95 hardcover
An intelligent, realistic, therapeutic book that can keep a child (age 4-12) filling in blank spaces for a whole year after Grandma or Grandpa dies: Who was Grandpa named for? What didn’t you like about Grandma? Something Grandpa always used to say was_______. Be a Shiva Detective and ask visitors what was the most fun time they had with Grandma. What’s Grandma’s personal Hanukkah story (a battle she fought and won in her life)? On Pesach, what Four Questions would you ask Grandpa if he were still alive? A good recipe Grandpa’s was_______. Who told you that Grandma died and what did they say? (What questions do you still have?) What special gift did Grandma give you that you can’t buy ‘in a store? When you’re a grandparent, you would like to_______.
Indeed, one of the best ways to help a child through a grandparent’s shiva is to keep her or him busy with concrete tasks (especially since many children feel guilty about feeling nothing). This book—suitable also for a grownup and child to do together in snippets—fits the emotional bill, and ends up being, I’m sure, an exceptional keepsake.