Book Review by Pamela Perkins: Stories to Light the Night, by Susan Perrow

Stories to Light the Night

A Grief and Loss Collection for Children, Families and Communities by Susan Perrow

published by Hawthorne Press 2021

“In the circle of life, we dance and flow; in the circle of life, we come and go.”  – from Donna and Scruff p. 132

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Grief, loss and change are inevitable life experiences that take many forms, some more obvious than others. The effects can be short term or devastating, and linger for weeks, or even last for a lifetime.

The acute, intense initial feelings that well up in the wake of death, tragedy and upheaval, can be confusing and complicated to process, especially when we must also face the challenge of helping and consoling the children in our lives. We may feel uncertain about what to say or do, as we struggle to cope  with our own stresses and responses as well.

When a profound change occurs, we do not “just move on”, we need to find healthy ways to honor and transform our experiences, so that we can move forward in our lives.

Much has been written about coping with loss from a clinical, professional perspective. Yet, deep within our souls and hearts, we long for the kind of healing that story medicine uniquely brings in a gentle, yet profound way.

In this collection of stories from cultures all around the world, many forms of loss and grief are tenderly clothed in healing images. They are a sprinkling of stars of hope, love and light, to guide us through the darkness, and importantly, to help us to guide the children in our care.

“This is a resource that belongs on everyone’s bookshelf. It provides a start point for our own journeys towards healing. It “offers a ‘toolkit’ for sharing stories about a subject so often shrouded in silence and discomfort” (Jane Harris, The Good Grief Project).

Finally, suggestions are included for activities to extend and expand upon the stories, so that we can adapt the story to our own unique situations.