The Healing Book

Author: Betsy Beard

healing bookFacing the Death—and Celebrating the Life—of Someone You Love

Ellen Sabin wrote The Healing Book: Facing the Death—and Celebrating the Life—of Someone You Love for her nieces and nephews when her family faced several deaths in one summer. She says she also wrote it for her siblings who were walking a tightrope as they faced their grief while hoping to comfort and protect their children. Finally, she wrote it for herself as a way to feel the loss, express it, and allocate time to recall her love, experiences, and life with those family members.  

The Healing Book: Facing the Death—and Celebrating the Life—of Someone You Love is a hardcover activity and memory book designed for children who have survived the death of someone close. It can help children explore their feelings of grief and express them openly in a healthy manner. When completed, it can be a beautiful keepsake that the child can treasure all his life.

Written for children ages six to thirteen, the book is exceptionally insightful, honoring our individual differences in grieving while allowing the child to feel included among those who grieve. It's written in plain language that kids can understand using words like death and died, rather than euphemisms like passed on or lost, to explain the complex and sometimes frightening aspects of grief.

The 64 page book covers such topics as emotions, questions, remembering, expressing, and ways to feel better. There is plenty of space for the child’s own thoughts and remembrances, which can lead to continuing discussions and open conversations. It gives children a place to focus their feelings and energy while also providing ideas and activities to make them feel better when they are sad or confused. The format is simple, with plenty of colorful illustrations. You can see sample pages and learn more about The Healing Book at

One mother wrote, "My daughter (age 6) has been enjoying the book. Tuesday morning we went through it together and she was so excited to get started. She has clipped a pen to it and is carrying it around—even took it to school yesterday in her backpack. She is working through it very thoughtfully, and she continues to amaze me with her courage and faith. She actually asked me if I thought her brother (age 11) would work on their books together as she wanted to read through out loud and remember things with him. He was receptive to that idea and I think it may help him with some of the dialogue he has internalized."

The Healing Book: Facing the Death—and Celebrating the Life—of Someone You Love is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. It can be purchased at

Betsy BeardBy Betsy Beard, Surviving mom of U.S. Army SPC Bradley S. Beard: Betsy Beard served as the editor of TAPS Magazine for seven years in addition to volunteering as a peer mentor, care group facilitator, and national workshop presenter. In that time she authored a number of TAPS publications and Quick Series Guides, as well as the award-winning children's book, Klinger: A Story of Honor and Hope and many articles for TAPS Magazine. Betsy has been published in Living with Loss publications and various newspapers. She currently is a freelance book editor and serves as the awards director of Military Writers Society of America.  She lives in North Carolina with her husband, Randy.