Although a particular sensitive issue, this book is well presented by gently introducing a number of important issues related to a parent dying by suicide.
First, the character is experiencing feelings of isolation and helplessness which evolve as the story develops into loss when trying on his father’s clothes in the garden shed. Questioning and anger become significant feelings which lead to breaking an object that belonged to his father. This leads to a discussion with his mother about his questions and feelings.
His mother answers his questions about suicide and reasons why. The explanations are simply put across outlining ‘illness of the brain’. A discussion also takes place about not being able to say goodbye and his father still loving him, being proud of him. Tearful, they together decide about how they could remember him and initiate specific gestures that can help with loss and grief.
The book’s illustrations are colourful and representative of significant feelings of loss and grief. For example, it refers to seasons later in the book. A great resource to have for those more difficult situations which require sensitivity and exploration of important issues about being bereaved by suicide.
Normally, E. (2011). The Little Flower Bulb. Veritas Publications: Dublin.