“Heaven’s Butterfly” – sharing part of the journey to help other grieving children

My friend Cathy and her daughter, Pia launched “Heaven’s Butterfly” yesterday. The book is published by Anvil and talks about the story of their life in the first year after Migi died. It specifically describes Pia’s journey from a place of sadness to a place of hope.

Pia was only seven when Migi died in 1998. Loss is a reality for children even at a very tender age. A child experiences grief in a cyclical manner. Meaning, they re-experience or re-visit the loss every time they pass through a developmental stage.

Cathy hopes that parents and teachers who read this book will come to realize that grief and loss, when it takes place, cannot just be swept under the rug. Losing someone is a real occurrence in a child’s world and we must allow that child to grieve. As adults and caregivers, we must do everything in our power to help them navigate that journey from sadness to hope.

By sharing part of their journey, they hope to be able to reach out to many more children who have lost loved ones – be it a parent, a friend, a grandparent, or a sibling — all pain is the same. Whenever we lose someone we love, we are forever changed by the experience.

Cathy is right. My children though not as young as Pia went through their own grief journey when my Luijoe died.

I never really knew the depth of my children’s grief. In their case, it is sibling grief. They didn’t want to talk much about it. I just noticed that their grades improved tremendously soon after. They are impatient with triviality and shallowness of their peers. They are mature for their age. I knew they questioned life as ““No one I know lost a sibling”.

I recall a friend who advised my daughters to ““you be sure and take care of your parents”. I bet my daughters wondered ““who was supposed to take care of me?”. I read somewhere that sibling grief is like ““Discount Grief.” Why? Because siblings appear to be an emotional bargain in most people’s eyes. People worry so much about the bereaved parents that they invest very little attention in the grieving sibling.

I believe it is the first children’s book on coping with a sibling’s death and I’d like to share it with you. ““Heaven’s Butterfly” is a story about how to help children deal with the loss of a loved one through death (Written by Cathy and Pia B. Guballa and Illustrated by Frances C. Alcaraz). “Heaven’s Butterfly” will be available at Powerbooks and National Bookstore starting February 23, 2009.

If you want a book, just email me at [email protected] and I will mail the book to your home (Philippines only). I am giving away 5 books (sorry all books out) signed by the authors and the illustrator.

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1388 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • grieving is something that i have yet to explain to my kids. when they lost their 2 grandpas a month from each other, it was so hard to explain to them what had just happened. my eldest, who was 4 when it happened, was the most puzzled. i think it left a profound effect on her because she keeps reminding me not to die because she won’t know what to do. in fact, that’s exactly what she told me this morning. it’s a recurring line that she throws at me every so often.

    Cookies last blog post..Ruby Tuesday : Hearts On Fire

  • Congratulations to Cathy and Pia. Sayang I wasn’t able to attend. Death is a reality we all have to face, but it’s too profound for children. My son asked me about death recently, and we talked me dying ahead of him because I am older. He said how sad that would be. And I told him you just have to be strong and be good always.Haaay, it’s hard sometimes when he asks me these questions. Didn’t help that his fear of death was brought about by seeing zombies in video games. Ouch.

  • Death is a scary and very sad reality in life. I admire people who have the strength to share their experiences and help others understand the process of grief.

    Rach (Heart of Rachel)s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday #52

  • Ria

    oh, too bad i didn’t know about your book giveaway! as a psychologist this would be helpful in my clinical work. will definitely check it out in the bookstores

    Rias last blog post..A Harsh Awakening: Lessons from Amiel’s Tragedy

  • audrey

    subra ako natutuwa at nalulungkot sa kwento na ito ang paruparu ng langit kaya salamat sa nagsulat dahil ang kwento na ito ay pwedeng ipaliwanag ng maayos sa bata na ang buhay ay di dapat sinasayang dapat ito ay mahalin at mahalin ang lahat dahil baka kung klan wala na ang kalaro mo kaibigan saka mo sila maalala kaya maganda na may puwang sa puso ng naiwan kasi love nila ang bawat isa. sanamay mga kwento pa kayo na nakakapagbigay ng saysay oh yung may aral tulad nito, sa akin meron ako nakuha kaya salamat… paano kaya ako makakabili nito sa inyo ng iba pang kwento na isang book na mismo na maramihan po ba? salamat po