The loss of a loved one is a universal, inevitable reality that no one escapes—someone in my life has died, there is an ache in my soul. Who can I turn to with my grief? What happens after death? Dealing with these agonizing questions is painful enough for adults, but for children who suffer the loss of someone they love, they can be particularly heartbreaking.
I Wish We Could Stay Here Forever is a new book that skillfully and sensitively captures the emotions of young children who are grieving the loss of a loved one, offering them comfort, inspiration and hope. The story is about a little boy named Billy whose dearly-loved grandmother passes away; and just as the title implies, Billy wishes that she could have stayed with him forever.
After 32 years of standing in the privileged place of ministering and officiating at hundreds of funerals where children have been present, Pastor Randy Paige, author of I Wish We Could Stay Here Forever, has experienced, first hand, the grief they face when someone they love has died. He writes:
“I then turn to face the family and friends of the deceased, and the funeral service begins. “Dear family and friends . . .”
"Quite often there are very young children present, sometimes squirming, sometimes very still, almost always wide-eyed and pensive. My heart soars to imagine what is going on in their young minds and hearts. I welcome this opportunity to tell a little parable that has been told for decades . . .”
Paige, pastor of Christ Church United Methodist in Port Jefferson Station, who has written numerous plays and vignettes based on biblical themes, knows the importance of getting as close to the heart of a story as possible in telling it. He captures brilliantly the thoughts and emotions of a young child through autobiographical events: the closeness he felt to his grandmother when she came to live with him when he was five years old, spending time cooking, baking and playing games with her and endless hours of dressing up and playing Cowboys and Indians or detective in his backyard as a young boy. These recollections were very much on his mind as he wrote I Wish We Could Stay Here Forever.
Read together with a parent or adult, this book will hearten and inspire children during tender times of loss and encourage them to talk about their pain. In print less than a month, I Wish We Could Stay Here Forever has already received rave reviews. One young widow and mother of a nine-year-old writes:
“Dear Randy, Christopher LOVES your book. We have read it every day. He does not talk about his daddy too much, what happened to him or where he is now; and your book has started him talking again so I thank you for that!”
I Wish We Could Stay Here Forever, an endearing book of comfort, assurance and hope, is dedicated to children everywhere who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
This Article was Written by Vickie Moller-Pepe.
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