“Children grieve deeply and for a long time. This book will make them see the sun will still shine and love will remain in their lives. a wonderful help for them and those who love them.” Senator Sharon Carstairs
” This book is long overdue! Children have been grieving for a long, long time and very little has been made available to them. “Remember Me” will help to give them a handle on dealing with loss in a positive and constructive way.” Jake Schmidt, Therapist/ Counsellor, private practice in Winnipeg, MB
Remember Me: A Resource for Grieving
Written by John Borst on November 8, 2007
“Love always remembers,” says author and artist Kathleen Arnason by John Borst
Families, classrooms, and schools from time to time are faced with the task of bereavement. Finding ways of helping children cope with the loss of a parent or sibling, a neighborhood friend, a relative, a classmate or even pet is never easy.
And that is what Gimli, Manitoba’s, children’s author and poet Kathleen Arnason learned one day.
Arnason tells the story of how her friend approached her asking if she could create something physical, some sort of key to allow a child or ourselves a voice through which to grieve.
And out of that experience was born a very unusual book “Remember Me”.
Remember Me is unusual because it is partly a book of poetry, a book of illustrations, a writing journal, and scrapbook. As the covering blurb says it was “designed to be used as a way to approach children and support them through their grieving. It can be used to open a window of communication and allow for story-telling and the recording of memories. There is room on the left-hand page to journal and paste pictures. At the end of the poem, there is a free journal where children can draw pictures, paste cards or special items whatever their hearts desire.”
Sometimes you really do have moments in life when you get a strong sense that there really is a guiding spirit out there. Discovering this book is one of them.
I quickly read the poem, looked at the delightful illustrations and handed it to my wife, who is also a retired teacher and former special education consultant for the multi-handicapped, and asked her what she thought of it as a classroom resource. Then I watched her reaction.
As she read I could see the poem and pictures generating memories as she fought to keep her emotions in check.
Let me be very clear, this isn’t a book about God. It isn’t a book about heaven. In that sense it is very open. It can be used by people of faith or no faith. It can be used in a Public, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim or other Christian school classroom. It is a book about remembering. It is an illustrated poem, written and drawn in such a way as to allow the voice of the child or ourselves to come out. As Arnason said, “It is a book about Life; it is a book about Love! My wish for anyone who reads and uses it is that it touches them somewhere in the heart and gives them hope.”
It strikes me that every Public and Catholic school board and private/independent school should have a stock of Remember Me on hand for those times when a teacher or whole school faces the death of a classmate, teacher or other school-based workers.
As Jake Schmidt, a private Winnipeg therapist said at the book launch, “This book is long overdue! Children have been grieving for a long, long time and very little has been made available for them. Remember Me will help to give them a handle on dealing with loss in a positive and constructive way.” And I would add be a heck of a good resource for a teacher too.
© copyright Tomorrow’s Trust, 2007
Kind words for Remember Me from Susan Whitmore
I devoured “Remember Me” the minute I got home. I have since read it over and over. Everything is soothing and sweet and wonderful. I’m SO glad to start to have items like this we can offer children and teens. What a fantastic job you did with the book, and your artwork is stunning! I will take “Remember Me” with me on speaking engagements. Thanks for doing something so dearly needed in this world.
The Erika Whitmore Godwin Foundation and griefHaven “Where Hope Resides”
To Order “Remember Me” Please contact – firstname.lastname@example.org or request one through comments on this site.
President of the Canadian Hockey Association
In 1920, the Falcons won the first Gold medal in Olympic hockey history. Falcons Gold celebrates their impressive story. When young Erik’s grandfather hands him the puck he caught at a 1920 Olympic game, Erik begins a magical adventure in which he meets the Falcons and travels back in time to the 1920 Olympics.
The story of the Winnipeg Falcons is a fascinating and important part of hockey history and deserves to be told from coast to coast in Canada. The skill of the players speaks for itself as they obtained a gold medal in the Olympics and also were great ambassadors for the game of hockey not only in Canada but throughout the world.
Helen Norrie, Children’s Book Reviewer,
Winnipeg Free Press
Stories and legends we share with children are part of the oral traditions that define us and our place in history. This legend speaks to the value of story telling and presents and engaging way to learn history.
Kathleen Arnason of Gimli has taken the Legend of The White Horse, whose statue stands near St. Francois Exavier; Manitoba and expanded it to appeal to young children. She introduces Whistle, an attractive filly who is drawn by a high-pitched sound towards the spirit of the great white stallion.
Judy McInnes’s pictures of the little horse and her forest friends are beautifully done, showing both artistry and imagination.
A series of questions at the end of the book about legends and the animals should make this story useful in the classroom.
The second printing of this book is dedicated to all of you who believe in Huldufolk. Many magical things have happened because of the inspiration of special people in the community and these wee folk.
Saga Publishing has happily donated the Huldufolk trademark authorization to a special group of women volunteers to produce one of the doll images of Snorri and Snaebjorn. The sale of these dolls is for the sole purpose of supporting the restoration of the historic Gimli Public School.
The Story of the Gimli Huldufolk has now reached close to 10,000 copies which make it exceed the Best Seller requirement for Canadian Authors.
“If you believe in fairies you’ll love this book, an enchanting tale that takes us on a wondrous journey as we follow tow Icelandic ” Little folk” desperately trying to save their Huldufolk friends who left for Canada long, long ago.”
Senator Janis Johnson
” A charming sequel to the story of the Huldufolk in Gimli. It will delight readers of all ages.”