'Why will anyone in my life be concerned about dying?'
A 13-year-old boy named Dougy Turno who had incurable brain cancer sent that question to Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the psychiatrist who wrote the now-classic book ". While Dougy was underwent experimental treatment at Oregon Health & Science University, Kubler-Ross connected him and his family with Beverly Chappell, a former nurse living in Portland.
Chappell began developing a peer-to-peer grief support approach that became the foundation for, a now-40-year-old Portland nonprofit, which has served as a model for hundreds of other grief support programs around the world.
The new book "" brings Dougy Center to a close. Written by Brennan Wood, the nonprofit's executive director, the book talks frankly and forthright about grieving in a child-friendly manner. It anticipates questions that young readers might have, including whether what they're feeling is normal (yes) and if they need to cope with their grief (no).
"The reality is that grief is a part of the human experience," Wood said.
Wood's grief experience is both professional and personal. She began working for Dougy Center for over two decades, starting as a receptionist and program assistant and moving into the top position six years ago. However, she began a career in the center as a 12-year-old child mourning her mother. The book is titled "Jordyn," which she believes is a tribute to, and all of the children "who have experienced the life-changing consequences of death far too early."
Wood was joined to the founder and publisher of the A Kids Book About series, by a Portland friend, who had written "." Memory was willing to meet.
"I shared my story with him, and we started talking about what a children's book about grief might be," Wood said.
She found that the A Kids Book About series and the Dougy Center had a lot of in common.
"One of the things that the author of A Kids Book About shared one time was, "If kids are old enough to ask, be brave enough to answer." At Dougy Center, we encourage children to know the truth, answering their questions in an age-appropriate manner, even if the real answer is, "I don't know."
The coronavirus epidemic came to an end. According to Imperial College London's parents and caregivers, nearly 200,000 children in the United States had lost one or both parents to COVID-19. As of April 5, 2022, the number of affected children increased to 250,000.
To Wood, it makes her book "a vital resource for families."
Never without COVID in the mix, Wood said, one in 13 kids in the United States will have a parent or a sister die before they turn 18., according to the grief support nonprofit.
Given these numbers, "this should be a national health priority," Wood said.
Wood believes her book will make sense of that support. She hopes it will "be a catalyst for wonderful conversations, not just about grief, but also about the people in children's lives who died... laughing about them and remembering them with both sadness and joy," as well.