Listed below are a number of books and films for yourself or to read from to your other children. The loss of a brother or sister is very drastic for them too and these books can help to talk about it and give it a place. All books and films can be borrowed from us, even if ima did not arrange your child’s funeral. Feel free to send an email to email@example.com or contact us via www.facebook.com/imaafscheidszorg.
This is a beautiful hardcover book for the little ones. A gentle, down-to-earth and child-friendly account of how a big brother in the clouds plays a role in the life of a sister. My little big brother/sister is written in rhyme and contains imaginative, funny illustrations of how the little big brother/sister secretly helps every now and then or otherwise makes its presence know through small gestures. Thanks to its sturdy design and attractive pictures it is ideal for children aged 1 to 6.
“Ilo is very much looking forward to the birth of the baby in mum’s belly. He can’t wait to start playing with his little brother. However, Ono turns out to be a very special brother at birth. A little brother who never cries and who you can’t play with. Ono is dead. After a short, sad, but enjoyable time at home, there’s a party for Ono. Then suddenly he is gone. Where to? Ilo is going to look for him…”
Title: De vraag van eend
Author: Leen van den Berg
Illustrator: Ann Ingelbeen
Where do you go when you die? That’s what the duck wants to know. It’s an important question, because the duck recently lost its chick and her grief is great and endless. Everyone she meets has his or her own answer to her burning question.
When Joep’s sister Maike is born prematurely in the spring, it appears she can only live for a short period of time. Daddy, Mummy and Joep have to say goodbye to her very quickly. They give Maike a thousand kisses and stroke her on her little head. ‘you’re my dear sister’, says Joep, ‘and I’ll never forget you’.
A richly illustrated picture book that helps dealing with a loss and the recovery from a sudden death of a brother or sister in a family.
‘Imme,’ mummy says, ‘Stippel has died.’ Imme is shocked. ‘Stipple wasn’t old yet!’ Mummy sighs. ‘Not everyone dies from old age.’ Imme is quiet for a moment. ‘Lotte wasn’t old either, grandpa was, though. I’ll never forget them.’
A child lives somewhere far away, yet close at the same time. It’s very happy, until it loses its golden ball. It leaves for Earth to look for the ball and is born in the form of a human child. The child grows up with its parents but one day, it finds its ball and returns to wherever it came from. The mother and the father can only feel sadness. But when they see that the sky has been given a different shine, their hearts slowly fill with new warmth.
Reissue with new illustrations of a special story about saying goodbye and experiencing a loss, yet at the same time, about the happiness of being human. Suitable for everyone aged 5 and up.
Once upon a time, there was a very ordinary girl. One day, something happened that made her sad. So she put her heart in a bottle and hung it around her neck. But now, things seemed to be emptier than before. Would she know how and when she should get her heart back?
The English artist Oliver Jeffers wrote and illustrated a timeless story about love and loss and shows that there is always hope.
There is a bird lying at the edge of the forest. ‘Look’, says the frog, ‘it’s broken. It stopped working.’ ‘It’s sleeping,’ says the little pig. But the hare says: ‘It’s dead.’ ‘Dead?’ asks the frog. ‘What’s that?’
The frog has found a little bird: he fetches the little pig and the duck and hare join them as well. The hare concludes that the bird is dead and philosophises: ‘Everybody dies’. The animals bury the bird and return to their everyday routines and play. This is a beautiful picture book with water colourings and text, ideal for reading from to young children.
Title: Mijn zusje is een sterretje
Author: Richard van Lingen en Marjet van der Linde
Peter is happy. His mum is expecting a baby and 4-year-old Peter can help with the preparation of the baby room. But then his sister is born prematurely. Inge is in hospitaltangled up in a web of tubes; she is very ill and after a few days, she dies. Everyone is very sad and Peter finds it difficult to make sense of it all. When can they come and collect Inge again? An attractive account of how to deal with grief in a family. Suitable for use at school and at home to discuss such a loss with young children. Saying goodbye at home and the funeral are also discussed, during which all adults are sad and quiet, but the children are allowed to sing and dance. With basic, sweet illustrations in gentle colours that complement the text. Useful edition. The author is a paediatrician-neonatologist. He wrote this story because, in his professional practice, he received many questions from parents and there appeared to be no book for this age group that deals with the subject from a non-religious perspective.
Books for adults
‘Helpen bij verlies en verdriet’ has been the basic book on dealing with grief for many years. A completely new edition has been issued twenty years after publication of the first, with a focus on new themes such as hidden loss and online mourning and a comprehensive chapter on “Pregnancy and Loss” and a chapter on “Giving birth to a stillborn”. Manu Keirse uses identifiable examples to show how mourning is not the equivalent to saying goodbye, but to learning to hold on differently. Numerous specific tips for those grieving and their environment make ‘Helpen bij verlies en verdriet’ a very practical book. This is a must-have for everyone who is confronted with a loss.
‘Vingerafdruk van verdriet’ is a precious gift to someone else or to yourself. It is a booklet that you should give to anyone who loses a child, a brother or sister, a partner, a parent, a friend or a dream. It is written not only for those struggling themselves, but also for family members, friends and colleagues from whom they expect support on their difficult journey to a renewed life. This is not a book about death. It is a book about life, about the emotional life of someone who is confronted with the loss of a loved one. It is not meant to be read in one go or to be read to and forget about it, but to go back to time and again.
Jan Bleyen, historian, listened to the experiences of parents of stillborn babies. He spoke to people who lost a child fifty years ago as well as parents who experienced this only recently. This verbal history shows how much the handling of stillbirth has changed in half a century. The stories are an emotional account of how we have come to experience mourning very differently. Doodgeboren is an empathic and innovative study into an emotional, yet common phenomenon.
The loss of a child, even when it dies before or during the birth, will forever mark the lives of its parents. This book is aimed at providing aid when mourning such a loss. Christine Geerinck-Vercammen discusses the theoretical and medical aspects but above all, the psychosocial processing of the loss, the delivery and saying goodbye. The question of how the parents fare in the short and long term, also in connection with subsequent pregnancies, is also discussed.
This book is about the loss of a baby during pregnancy or on or around its birth. It contains medical information, but also extensively discusses parents’ experiences. How do you deal with the death of a baby, whose arrival you had been looking forward to so much? What helps and what does not? How can you ever go back to everyday life again? Will you ever recover from this loss? What can you do if you feel that you become stuck in the loss? How do family and friends react? And what is the response of the care providers you are dealing with? What does a new pregnancy mean? And what about parents who lose one of their twins? The book provides answers to these and other questions. It is intended for parents, people in their environment and care providers.
Women who are or want to become pregnant after the loss of their baby are confronted with the still fresh experience of death and the experience of new life. In their situation, it is difficult to identify with the group of pregnant women who do not have this experience. This handbook covers the different phases: getting pregnant, being pregnant, giving birth and parenthood afterwards. Proper information helps the mother to regain confidence in herself, in her body and in medical care in general. Care providers too are given an insight into the specific problems of these women as it offers reference points for better professional guidance.
Title: En zwijgen was het antwoord
Author: Anneke Avis
“After I gave birth, there was complete emptiness. No small coffin, no funeral, nothing that could remind me of him. Nowadays, people all have places, but I don’t"
As part of her book ‘En zwijgen was het antwoord’, Anneke Avis interviewed mothers and fathers who lost a child on or around birth, in the period between 1945 and 1970. Against the background of the post-war years, parents talk about how they experienced the loss of their baby. Doctors, family and those around them thought the best thing to do was to continue as if nothing had happened. There was hardly any room for grief and sorrow. Hard to imagine now, but that was the norm back then. What was medical care like during that time? Doctors and midwives talk about the fate of these children and how psychosocial care made its appearance in obstetrics and neonatology, whereas previously, only medical-somatic expertise counted. The stories evidence how mothers and fathers carry this dramatic event with them all their lives, sometimes with far-reaching consequences.
When a grandchild dies, the grandparents suffer double: they mourn the loss of their grandchild and feel the pain of their own child. This is a book full of recognition for grandparents who had to experience this.
When a child dies or is stillborn, the grief is immense. This loss for the parents is unimaginable, but the grandparents too are deeply affected by it. In order to assist their own child, they often put their own mourning aside.
In her work as a mourning therapist, Maria de Greef often met grandparents who felt misunderstood and unheard in their grief which prompted her to write this book. She interviewed grandfathers and grandmothers who had lost a grandchild. It has become a book full of points of recognition. The stories provide an insight into the difficult process of being left empty-handed, but they also allow the reader to share in the warmth and comfort that can be found in families. Many grandfathers and grandmothers recognise themselves in the interviews. “So good to see that our sadness and loss have been given the attention it deserves” is a frequently-heard response.
Title: Lieve Juul
Author: Nathalie van Stijn
Pregnancy is not always a pink cloud. My pregnancy, for example, was far from ideal. Our daughter ultimately lost the fight against a placenta praevia totalis (blocking the entire neck of the uterus). She died as a consequence of this complication. I have tried to describe the world in which we were and still are. What started as a diary (out of boredom and because a lot of what happened I did not want to forget), has resulted in a book. It is a book that provides points of recognition and, hopefully, support for those who find themselves in a similar situation. Unfortunately, people are still affected by this...far too many of them.
Title: Kusje in de wind
Author: Irene van Wesel
Pregnant women live in another world. They travel through their bodies to the depths of her inner-beings. The contact of a mother with her unborn child is pure love. Even before pregnancy is a fact, there is an unbridled desire for a child that is so welcome.
Whoever loses a child is torn away from what is so dearly loved. They experience a torn heart that only goes looking for healing when having reached absolute rock bottom. Days of disbelief, numbness and bewilderment make way for the painful reality. The fact that nothing will ever be as it was, that no plan can go ahead as imagined and that there will always be a child that no one can see, but that really is. Every dream of the future evaporates in the wind, whereas the dream of your child is, in fact, the only thing you are left with as parents. You are literally left empty-handed and that hurts incredibly.
Yet in our family the sun did rise again, the day that we could laugh together and start living again. Reminiscing, full of love and a tear, while looking forward with the valuable insights that our heavenly child brought with her.
Irene also compiled several volumes of poetry: “Kindje in mijn hart” (for mother’s day and father’s day) and “Lichtjes vol liefde” (for Worldwide Candle Lighting Day). “Liever bij mij”, a compilation of stories, tells the story of 33 parents and couples who have lost one or more children during or after the pregnancy.
Bundeltje gemis is een lief dichtbundeltje voor sterrenouders die hun kindje moeten missen. Het dichtbundeltje staat vol met troostende woorden en (h)erkenning.
Bundeltje Gemis is tot stand gekomen nadat mijn neefje Josha één dag na zijn geboorte overleed. Ik ben mijn verdriet, maar vooral ook het verdriet van zijn ouders van me af gaan schrijven. Dat heeft uiteindelijk geresulteerd in een bundeltje met 34 gedichtjes over het verdriet, het gemis, de onmacht, de pijn en de boosheid, maar vooral ook de liefde die je voelt als je je kindje verliest.
Bundeltje Gemis is ontstaan uit liefde!
My pager goes off. It is an outside line: Lau. ‘Yes, it’s me: I’m going to the hospital now, just a quick check-up.’ ‘Why a check-up?’ ‘Well, I can feel it a little less today which is when they are extremely accurate.”
“Ik had je gedacht mijn kind” is the story of a young father called Casper who loses his sons Lennard and Simon within a year. In both cases, shortly after their births. After a period of deep mourning, Casper and his wife Laura try to conceive again. Without success. A long survival journey follows and eventually, they decide to continue together. Hands-on and without consideration for himself, Casper van Koppenhagen describes what he was experiencing. His story is supplemented with excerpts from the diary of his wife Laura Soudijn. This brutally honest and moving book is about desperation and vulnerability, as well as about love and vitality. With his story, Van Koppenhagen hopes to offer some support to parents who have lost a child and people who have otherwise become childless against their will. At the same time, it confirms the privilege of having healthy children. Casper van Koppenhagen is a rehabilitation specialist and editor-in-chief of Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Revalidatiegeneeskunde. In 2006, he wrote the football thriller “Bram Breedveld, spits van Oranje”. Laura Soudijn is an independent trainer and coach in team building, personal guidance and organisational advice.
‘Myla’ is a moving story about an uncertain period in an intensive care unit for children and thereafter. Daddy takes you by the hand and into an emotional roller-coaster. He tells how he experienced that time. How he was thrown into the deep end but that nobody told him how deep it was. All he could do was to keep swimming, for himself, for Myla, for his family.
For care providers with a high regard for Family Centred Care, ‘Myla’ is an excellent opportunity to witness, from up close, how a father experiences such a period. He tells it like it is and talks about his deepest feelings.
In addition, the book is for everyone who wants to support my mission. All proceeds will be donated to Stichting ACD. This foundation performs research into ACD. Nobody deserves to be confronted with the uncertainty and powerlessness that this disease brings.
To order: https://stichtingacd.nl/product/stichting-acd-boek/
Misschien was je vandaag wel geboren…
tells the moving story of a young couple who, at the 20-week ultrasound check-up, are told that their child has a serious abnormality. They decide to terminate the pregnancy. They each experience this in their own way. Yvonne by keeping diaries and David, as a photographer, visually.
A beautiful document about the grieving and recovery process of one of the last taboos: the choice to have the pregnancy terminated in the event of an abnormal test result. It is about sadness, insecurity, determination, guilt, fear, anger and frustration, but above all love. Love for the stillborn child
that will never be forgotten.
Romeo is the story of Anne and Mathijs who are looking forward to the birth of their first child. During the seventh month of pregnancy, the child does not appear to be viable. They try to process the incomprehensible, each in their own way. Anne tries to give her dead child a place in her life, whereas Mathijs tries to erase it from his memory. They become so isolated in their grief, a gap starts to open up between them.
Film: Return to zero
Return to Zero is based on a true story. Aaron (Paul Adelstein) and Maggie (Minnie Driver) are a successful couple expecting their first child.
Their lives are destroyed when it appears that their son has died in the womb near the end of term. At his funeral, some beautiful, comforting words are spoken: “He was never hungry, he was never cold, he experienced nothing but love.”