Buddy’s Candle by Dr. Bernie S. Siegel

Subtitled “For Anyone Who Ever Lost a Loved One,” Buddy’s Candle by Dr. Bernie S. Siegel, published by Trafford Press, is exactly what is needed for any parent attempting to explain death to a child.

It is so difficult to explain to a young one what happens and why they must experience the grief of losing a grandparent, friend, or beloved pet when the loved one’s life ends.

Bringing this complex, stressful subject down to the level a child can understand is quite an undertaking but one that Dr. Siegel has accomplished in this meaningful book. The beautiful, colorful, simplistic illustrations by Mari Gayatri Stein help make this children’s paperback book very appealing.

The story is narrated by the father of a nine-year old son. He explains to his child about his fight with cancer when he was only age nine and how Buddy, a stray dog who befriended him and also had a battle with cancer encouraged him through the trying times.

The young man, later to become an understanding father, won his fight with childhood cancer and came to count on his trusted canine friend as a key part of his life. When Buddy’s cancer returns, man’s best friend teaches us how to accept life and death with class and grace.

While losing a loved one — human or animal — is hard for anyone, adults and children alike, the simple yet mostly truthful explanations provided by Dr. Siegel make it easy for a child to understand. While none of us know if there is a Pet Heaven and if our lost pets actually know about us after their passing, I enjoyed Dr. Siegel’s explanations of Pet Heaven and lighting candles in remembrance of those who have passed away while leaving us to deal with our pain.

If the name Bernie S. Siegel rings a bell, it should. Dr. Siegel has long been an advocate of patients’ rights and empowerment. In 1978, he created the organization Exceptional Cancer Patients to provide therapy to individuals battling cancer through dreams, images, feelings, and drawings. He has traveled the world speaking to caregivers and patients and he authored Love, Medicine & Miracles in 1986.

That first book has been followed with numerous works such as Love, Peace & Medicine, 101 Exercises for the Soul, Help Me To Heal and other important topics. Today, Dr. Siegel has retired from practice but he continues to spread messages of love and kindness. This latest work, Buddy’s Candle, specifically focuses on children dealing with grief and death.

Any parent who knows a death in the family is pending due to disease or age and any parent that has allowed their child to love a non-human creature which will certainly pass before that child reaches adulthood should provide this beautiful, tasteful book explaining death and grief at a child’s level.

Even if you do not expect your child to have to deal with death of a loved one any time soon, this is still a book worthy of reading with them because we all know life is a fragile thing and a loss can occur at any time. Help your child gain the important understanding that those we lose live on inside our hearts and memories before a tragic event causes the child to have to develop that understanding suddenly and without preparation.

To learn more, visit Amazon > Buddy’s Candle by Dr. Bernie Siegel

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