Can You Imagine? | A children’s book about death
Written by Mary Ann Dixon, OP
Illustrated by Laura Rangos
For years as a classroom teacher, I have used the following imagination/meditation with children from grade one through grade eight whenever the question of death came up. It provides a satisfactory attempt at explaining the unexplainable. When my own mother died, my youngest niece was four years old and her parents and I used this “Can You Imagine?” meditation with her. We told her what she would see at the funeral home and that, if she wanted to, she could touch Grandma’s hand. If she did that, Grandma’s hand would be cold, “because she wasn’t in there anymore.” During the course of the two-day visitation at the funeral home, she often would greet people at the door and invite them to come up and touch Grandma’s hand, explaining that it would be cold, “because she wasn’t in there anymore.” Obviously she grasped the concept and was not afraid.
Laura Rangos has captured the essence of the meditation with her illustrations, replete with images of life. Before you read this to a child, I suggest you read it through at least once, paying special attention to the illustrations. Then, as you read it together, a combination of words and illustrations can tell the story of the human spirit which, even after death, lives forever.
Finally, using the content, lead the child through each step of the meditation.
Sister Mary Ann Dixon, O.P.