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Saturday Salutation to a book!

January 25, 2014

I am sure I did ask my mother … ‘Where will I go when I die? I am certain that as a school teacher she would have struggled with the answer and reluctant to give me the stock answer ‘to heaven with the angels.’ Unlike the teachers at Sunday school and even the Vicar at my mother’s recent funeral.

It is a difficult question; I, of course didn’t come to any clear conclusions when required to answer my own children’s questions relating to birth and death.  

My grandchildren, with increased resources their parents might make a more valid attempt  it still remains an unanswered question. But at least I hope,  that no one is suggesting, if they are very good they will go to heaven and if they are bad then it is off to the fiery furnace.  We are at least a bit more enlightened.

I have a little stash of books I have bought over the years that go someway to help children to to discuss and understand; birth and death, coming and going, growth and deterioration.  I came across another while at the Tate last week, called Where do we go when we disappear? by Isabel Minhós Martins, that will help my grandsons and me.

I don’t cope with coming and going, no more than a child; especially during the last few years while my daughter has been commuting to and from Brazil. I,  as a sensible, rational woman has found the whole business heart breaking.  I am  of course getting better and actually beginning to  enjoy the situation! Seeing her come filling our home with joy; then seeing her return to Rio imaging the joy she takes back. Yes! I am sad but the grief is not so powerful

Isabel Minhós Martins tells many stories illustrating the movement of the world and its effect on life and death in a way a child can understand like the way sand rushes from shore with the pull of the tide. The beach does not disappear it is not lost; it is dragged by the sea to another coastline. Both shorelines have changed shape; none more beautiful than the other; just different!

Each little story has a poignant ring,  a little ‘arh yes’ moment, that brings hope to a woman who should know better and a little boy who struggles when he loses sight of a precious toy or his pet rabbit dies.

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