The little bird in this book is a reflection of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He shares with your child the promised hope of God’s redemption in our lives and our world. This promised hope can be experienced even in the throes of grief. From the beginning of the story, he acknowledges the initial tear-filled feelings of loss and then goes on a quest into what we should know and rest in as Christians. The bird’s flight brings him back, full circle, to a scene reflecting relief and comfort, which is my hope for the child reading this book.
A helpful process to grieve is to recognize the loss tangibly. There is a special place in this book. I encourage you to have your child add a picture of their beloved, whether human or animal. Give your child a pencil and let them write a memory or hope for One Day Again. If they can’t write, then help them. They can draw the picture.
The beginning of my writing process for this book came about when a little girl I know and love, Andi, experienced her pet’s death. Andi’s baby goat, sadly and unexpectedly, died. Upon hearing from her mother that my young friend was having a tough time, I went to find a book to give her as a gift. I searched for one that gave a biblical perspective to help with her grief. There were books about the death of cats and dogs, but nothing about goats. If you look for her in this book, you will see her holding Lucky the goat.
On other pages, you see people depicted representing someone I, or my illustrator, Graciela, know or have known. The opening page shows a boy with his head hung and shoulders heavy with grief. This image was originally a photograph that I took of my son just before the vet came to our farm the day our dog Max died. As a mother, I wanted to take away the grief he was experiencing, but I could not. Instead, I captured the photo so that I would never forget his pain. I needed to hold on to it. In suffering, we can count on God to bring healing. Maybe this book will bring someone healing, and that was why I anxiously took that picture long ago.
Also captured in the illustration is a beautiful little girl in a white dress whose name was Sierra. She is pictured with her dog, Rocco. Sierra had Down syndrome and cancer on this earth, but in heaven, she is healed, reunited with her best pet, and whole in mind and body. Her sweet mama will see her, One Day Again. There are other special people in this book as well; those stories were just a few of many. Please know the intention of this book is founded on loss but is published in hope. My goal is to project the great hope and anticipation for what is next because it will be glorious.
We must trust the Holy Spirit to soothe our pain with His promise of what is next, just like the little bird does in this story. God bless you and your child, and know that I have prayed for you both as I have prayed over this book. My heart is connected to all children grieving for both people and/or animals and for the parent who so mercifully wants to take that burden from their child. In its most infantile suggestion, couldn’t that be what Jesus felt for us on the cross?
In His service,