Good Grief

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Good grief might very well be my favorite oxymoron.  Really?  Is there really such a thing as good grief?  

When a loved one passes away, who among us hasn’t longed for one more visit or had grandiose plans and glorious Wishes for One More Day? Aware of the sensitive nature of this issue for children, author Melanie Joy Pastor’s inspirational book by that title sheds light on handling loss and processing grief in a gentle, developmentally-appropriate way. 

Siblings Anna and Joey are understandably shaken and incredibly saddened by the news that their Poppy has died. As they journey through their initial shock, they comment that they’d love just one more day with him – “that’s all I need” Anna tells her mom, “just one more day.”  As they magically think through how they would spend that extra time with Poppy, their walk down memory lane helps them to realize that all of those wishes have, in fact, already come true.  What’s more, they’ve used those wishes as a springboard to create a beautiful scrapbook of their special relationship with Poppy.  What a treasured memento to celebrate Poppy’s life and keep his memory alive for years to come. 

With its magnificent portrait-quality illustrations by Jacqui Grantford, this touching story normalizes a child’s reactions to loss with the added bonus of a built-in strategy for helping children cope at this difficult time. There's also some cultural integration as we get a glimpse into some of the Jewish rituals that surround the passing of a loved one.  A group of students in my Lost and Found small group counseling class made a Wishes book after we read this and you'd have been amazed at not only their awesome creations but the healing balm that reliving their memories as they made their wishes was for them.  I could just taste that mom's chocolate chip pancakes and see that dad's fishing pole; SO powerful! Check out this terrific therapeutic tool; it will be a wonderful addition to your grief/loss collection.


  1. This sounds wonderful, a book I could use!
    Thank you!

  2. Barbara:
    I love "lost and found" as a group title.
    Reminding you again how lucky your schools are to have you...

    Sending you a big HUG!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade


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