Losing a parent can be heartbreaking for a young child. But nine-year-old Milly Bell has written a book to make the loss a little easier for grieving children like herself.
In a perfect world, kids wouldn’t have to worry about anything beyond that night’s homework or the weekend soccer game. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for the millions of children out there who’ve lost a parent – but nine-year-old Milly Bell from Exeter, England is doing something to make life a little better for grieving children like herself.
Last year, Milly’s father was diagnosed with a brain tumor. For the four months he was ill, Milly helped out however she could: Reading stories to him, helping him eat his dinner, giving him his medication. But she was aware that her father would never recover, and that she would soon have to say her last goodbyes.
On her website, Milly says, “While my Dad was dying, I was very upset and I felt like I was the only child it had happened to.” But when her mother told her she wasn’t alone, Milly began to wonder, “how can I help other children if they are losing someone they love very much and they can’t meet other children like me?”
Sadly, Milly’s father passed away in May 2006. But through her loss, Milly has found the strength to bring hope to other children in need: She has created a book called My Daddy is Dying, filled with pictures and games that will help other children to cope with the loss of a parent.
On one page, she asks children to create a recipe for a “Happy Feelings cake” and draw a picture of it. On another, she created a diagram “to help me understand about the cycle of life and how like trees and plants, we all live and die.” Her book has been published by her father’s former employer, Western Power Distribution, and a UK cancer charity, Force. It can also be downloaded from Milly’s website.
“Although I still get sad and often think of daddy in heaven having a lovely time, it has got easier as time has gone by, and whenever I feel sad I know it is important to speak and cry about my feelings,” Milly says on her site. “I hope this helps other children get through the same thing and let them know they are not the only one.”