Jelly Bean's Secret

"While loss is sad, loving is triumphant. Above all this is a story of hope and celebration of life."
Written by Molly Carlile—a leading grief and loss counsellor, educator and consultant — 'Jelly Bean's Secret' is the story of nine-year-old Abby and her very special Grandma. It is a story of the things they like to do together, especially finding treasures on the beach for their secret project.

Jelly Bean's Secret: A Review by Susan Joy Coombs

Just released, this book will be a treasure for all practitioners who work with children who have or are about to have, someone close die. It is also an educational aid for all children, so that the death process (which is a big part of life for all of us) can be approached before a crisis situation occurs.

Although aimed at helping children, it is also relevant for adults coping with the death of a loved one or a loss of any kind, such as job or career.

As I read the gentle and realistic story centred on Abbey and her Grandmother, Jelly Bean, I found tears welling up. A simple, loving and powerful exploration of the closeness they share and the circumstances and responses of the family to Jelly Bean’s death. The book looks at the way each person deals with her death, coloured with warmth and understanding, so that the personal grief each family member experiences is accepted and worked through freely.

For me, the book brought back memories of the anger and sadness I felt, when at seven, my father died and I was not allowed to go to his funeral or after gathering. It has taken years of working through layers of this for me to be able to let go of the sense of powerlessness I felt. This book would have been a wonderful resource for the adults (in my experience) who felt they were doing the right thing at the time and also for me, to work with.

The back section of the book contains a “Learning Tool” which outlines the theory of grief and loss and gives practical tips to help the reader gain a depth of understanding of children’s grief management. This is done by first outlining points about death and the process of grieving. It then goes on to suggest questions and responses relating to different parts of the story to help draw out discussion and encourage understanding.

Although I have only just read the book, I can see how it will be useful if I am presented with a child experiencing grief, and will give me confidence to approach and work in a compassionate and effective way.

Molly Carlile started her training as a nurse and has been working in Palliative Care and counselling for many years. Molly is a Reiki Master and ARC member. Her years of hands on experience combined with a dynamic and warm outlook, have been mixed up in a wonderful recipe for life, to create this book, a treasure for us to use in our practices as Reiki channels and in developing our life skills, generally. It is also enjoyable to read and beautifully illustrated by Caroline Marone.
At $12.95, it’s a gift to all.

Reviewed by Susan Joy Coombes, Naturopath and Reiki Master Teacher, ARC member
Publisher:- St Luke’s Innovative Resources
137 McCrae Street, Bendigo, Victoria, 3550. Ph 03 5442 0500
ISBN:- 1 920945 02 4

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