When Kate Worrall’s eldest son turned five, she felt it was time to introduce him to “Ma Debbie”.
Debbie was her mother-in-law. She’d lost her battle with cancer in 2009, years before she had the opportunity to meet either of Kate’s young sons.
Wanting to share the memory of Debbie with her boys, the Novocastrian created a new children’s book entitled Little Reminders.
“The boys had a sense of why there were not two grandmas in their family,” Kate says.
“They knew that one grandma was my mum, but they wondered where my daddy’s mum was.
“It was important to me and my husband that they understood who Debbie was and how much she would have loved them.
“The book turned out to be a great conversation starter with the kids and really healing for our whole family.”
Little Reminders is a 24-page, illustrated storybook that has been specifically designed to allow families to customise with photos of their loved ones who have passed.
Each page is full-colour, with the words rhyming throughout.
Kate says her boys now enjoy referring to the book they’d originally called ‘Where is my Debbie’, to mark significant milestones.
“They (the boys) keep it as a resource on their bookshelves,” she says.
“They bring it out on her (Debbie’s) birthday and the anniversary of her death and we talk about her and look at the photos of her.
“Debbie loved kids and she would have loved to have met the boys. This is a simple way to share her with them.”
The book has also been well-received within the community for its straightforward approach to a difficult topic.
Lifeline Direct Executive Director Robert Sams says it is a successful tool.
“Many adults find talking about someone who has died uncomfortable, particularly while they are dealing with their own grief,” he says.
“For children, this silence can be confusing and distressing.
“Little Reminders provides a simple and non-confrontational way of opening up a difficult conversation.”
Copies of Little Reminders can be purchased from Kate’s website.