A relationship does not die when a person dies.

My Grandmother is Always With Me

2nd edition

by Lorraine Hedtke and Addison Davidove

Illustrations by Annette Olson and Addison Davidove

My Grandmother is Always With Me offers children a way to make sense out of death when a loved one dies. The story is told though the eyes of a young girl and her grandmother. Each colorfully illustrated page suggests another way in which the little girl benefits from keeping a storied legacy close to heart after her grandmother dies.

This book offers a different approach to death and grief than many of the other messages that children receive. When a loved one dies, their love for them does not die. Children, still love that person as they did before but they now need to use memories more deliberately to keep the love alive. My Grandmother is Always With Me suggests a way for children to make sense out of the changes in their lives and to incorporate the many memories of the person who has died into their own lives.

Children easily understand the idea and importance of remembering. When asked about what was important to them about their deceased father or mother or grandparent, they are ever ready with information. It does not take much prodding for a child to bring to life the voice of a deceased loved one. Just as when a child speaks through the voice of a stuffed animal, he or she can easily materialize the stories they shared with those who have died. Remembering practices are a resource and place of comfort. My Grandmother is Always With Me is a wonderful remembering journey that shows how the art of remembering brings the best of the past into the promise of a successful and happy future.

Along with the story and pictures geared for young readers, there is a grown-up guide. The guide offers suggestions to support adults as they lead the way for the younger ones.

Children's Thoughts about the Book

The following comments are from a group of ten and eleven year olds, collected during a survey on the book My Grandmother is Always With Me.

"The artwork told a story. The illustrations were not drawn, but made out of fabric and materials that was very creative."

"Very original. Not many books with this theme."

"Liked that it was a smooth, flowing story."

"Liked the whole story, it was like you were standing with the person on the rainbow."

"Girls and boys can both get this book. It is helpful to be dealing with death."

"The story explained a lot about her grandma. It gave her grandma a voice without her saying anything."

"It was good that it didn't say the narrator names. That ways any kid can relate to it."