When a child loses a parent

Rebecca Cobb, Missing mummy

First published 2011 by Macmillan Children’s Books


Death is one of the inevitable things in our lives.  Its mystery has preoccupied humanity since the very beginning.

In literature the theme of death was approached in different perspectives all trying to comfort the soul and the mind and explain loss and suffering as fundamental experiences of our existence. People tend to understand the cycle of life and the loss of old family members, friends or acquaintances but the premature death of someone young is devastating and defies normality.

missing mummy

When a child loses a parent explaining death becomes one of the most painful and difficult tasks. Missing mummy is a story about this kind of bereavement. Rebecca Cobb kindly tries to explain the death of the mother from the little child’s perspective.

Some time ago we said goodbye to Mummy. I am not sure where she has gone.

In an extremely honest way, Rebecca Cobb presents all the emotions a child can feel when realizing his loss. It seems the worst experience of all. From hope to rejection and isolation, from fear to anger and sadness, from despair to understanding, in a simple and innocent way, the child experiences all the stages of his grief and then recovery.

What is really important is the positive perspective of the story. We tend to avoid handling painful situations but acceptance is essential in the recovery process. The child is explained that death comes when the body stops working and despite the loss they are still a family. The child needs to be told he doesn’t need to assume his mother’s death. In their process of still discovering and understanding existence, children explain things to themselves assuming external facts as consequences of their behavior.

I am worried that she left because I was naughty sometimes… Daddy says it was nothing I did that made Mummy die.

The whole family finds healing through sharing stories and treasuring memories of the mother, which creates a form of immortality.

You can find the book here: http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=wordstoworlds


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