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Today we’re changing gears a bit with a beautifully touching story called “And Still they Bloom: A Family’s Journey of Loss and Healing“ by Amy Rovere.
A Quick Overview:
And Still They Bloom: A Family’s Journey of Loss and Healing is a fictional story of Ben and Emily, ages seven and ten, and their emotional struggle after the loss of their mother to cancer. Author Amy Rovere relied on her personal experiences in writing the book. “The loss of my own mother to lung cancer when I was just nine years old inspired me to help children who are dealing with a similar experience,” said Rovere. “And Still They Bloom teaches families about the healing process after losing a loved one and can help adults and children find comfort, encouragement, and understanding.”
Based on her own experience of losing her mother as a young girl, Amy Rovere brilliantly paints the pain and denial and the longing and questioning during the difficult journey of losing a parent. Through a variety of conversations with their father, ten-year-old Emily and seven-year-old Ben deal with the death of their mother. Day by day an unfolding into acceptance happens as well as their own journeys into the realization that their mother’s love and memories will always be with them.
The story is told throughout the 4 seasons as we view the garden that Emily and her mother planted unfold its beauty and mystery. The overall message is one of family togetherness, sitting with our grief, and healing little by little each day through our memories.
This book is so moving and an incredible aid to those who are grieving a parent. Accompanying the story are beautiful illustrations by Joel Spector. This is such a needed tool for children who have lost a loved one and so creatively told.
Amy’s book is published by the American Cancer Society and can be purchased HERE.
Something To Do:
Creating a Memory Garden~
And Still They Bloom unfolds into a colorful memory garden for Emily as it was created by her and her mother. I have my own memories of tending my mother’s rose garden after she passed away. I even took rose-bush starters to plant the same bushes here in my garden in Tennessee. I know the comfort of looking at my mother’s roses bloom every summer. I think of her whenever I’m out there working in the garden. It’s as if we are together.
To Create a Memory Garden:
- Make a list of characteristics of the person who has passed over. Were they funny? Did they wear Red? What did they do for a living? Where did they grow up? etc.
- What were their favorite colors? If you don’t know, ask other people who knew them well. Being with others who also miss your loved one is so very healing.
- What was their favorite season? Pick flowers and plants from that specific season and build your garden out from there.
- Sometimes it’s fun to plant herbs among your flowers for a lovely smell.
- Favorite vegetables of your loved one are also a nice sort of summer memory garden.
- For an added extra, make a birdhouse for your memory garden.
- Add some chimes.
Do you have a memory garden? Please share your thoughts and stories, we’d love to hear from you!