Explaining the concept of death to children can be a daunting and awkward task. We are afraid of scaring of upsetting them but they are actually a lot more matter of fact and down to earth about these things than we give them credit for.
These days there are many books available to help explain death to children in a relatable and honest way. ‘Duck, Death and the Tulip’ by Wolf Erlbruch is my absolute favourite. It’s gentle, open and beautiful. It embraces the ‘D-word’ instead of using confusing metaphors and shows Death as a warm and friendly skeleton. Death positive perfection.
It tells the story of a duck who makes friends with Death. Duck is initially afraid of Death but comes to realise he is not there to scare or upset her. They spend more time together and create a special bond. Death answers all Duck’s questions and lays to rest her apprehensions and fears about death. In the end *SPOILER ALERT* Duck dies. Death carries her to the river and sends her on her way with this final thought “For a long time he watched her. When she was lost to sight, he was almost moved. But that’s life, thought Death”. Beautiful
Although this book looks like it’s aimed at children I genuinely feel that all ages can enjoy it and benefit from it. I am always moved whenever I re-read it. It’s truly enchanting.
You can get a copy here or from all good book shops.
Below are some extracts from the book.
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