The Seeds of Hope Bereavement & Loss Activity Book

The Seeds of Hope Bereavement & Loss Activity Book aims to help children and young people manage feelings of loss and change of all kinds through activities all based in Nature. 

When my baby, Laura, died and her brother and sister began asking questions about her, I started to look for ways to help me talk to them about death and loss.  Nature seemed a good place to start.  So much in Nature echoes the changes that happen in life.  None of us can live life without change and all change means loss and new beginnings - a pattern repeated over and over in Nature's cycle of life. This Activity Book encourages children to get outside and get exploring - and in doing so, gain an understanding of how loss and change are a natural part of living.

The book is ideal for parents and carers, teachers, therapists and counsellors to use with children aged 5+ who have suffered any type of loss or are dealing with change or who are bereaved.

"...death for all of us is devastating but for a child it will create a wealth of emotions that are incomprehensible.  For each it is unique.  The Seeds of Hope Bereavement & Loss Activity Book gives a wide variety of ideas to help the child explore, recognise and accept ther feelings in a concrete, thoughtful and healing way.  I would highly recommend it....."   Yvonne Cameron, teacher

"... a lifetime's experience in this area has taught me that children benefit tremendously from being helped to talk openly about these issues.  I highly recommend Caroline Jay and Unity-Joy Dale's wonderful Seeds of Hope Bereavement & Loss Activity Book...."  Jenni Thomas OBE, bereavement counsellor

What Does Dead Mean?

A beautifully illustrated book that guides children gently through 17 of the ‘big’ questions they often ask about death and dying.  Questions such as ‘Is being dead like sleeping?’, ‘Why do people have to die?’ and ‘Where do dead people go?’ are answered simply, truthfully and clearly to help adults explain to children what happens when someone dies. Children are encouraged to explore the concepts by talking about, drawing or painting what they think or feel about the questions and answers.

Suitable for children aged 4+, this is an ideal book for parents and carers to read with their children, as well as teachers, therapists and counsellors working with young children.

At last a book that really answers the questions or fears a child may have about death. I would recommend this to any parent who, like me, wonders how they will support their child through the death of a loved family member, friend, or even pet. I will have it waiting on our shelf and hope that schools will snap it up as a fantastic ‘information’ book for teachers to use and children to access in the school library.’   Gabby Hails-Smith, parent 

‘Children’s questions are a window to their souls and a mirror to their inner thoughts and feelings. This important book allows caring adults to acknowledge and explore these questions with children in a sensitive and informed way. I highly recommend What Does Dead Mean? for anyone who aspires to create a meaningful dialogue with children about death.’ Linda Goldman, author of 'Children Also Grieve' and  'Life and Loss'



Pepper, Pooch & Little

This is the story of Pepper the hamster, Pooch the puppy and Little the tortoise.  They are friends for life, whether life is long or short.
This picture book for 4+ year olds offers a gentle introduction to life and death and the importance of the memories that link them, opening a door on a difficult subject.

Pepper,Pooch & Little came to be written because of something that happened many years ago. The Head of my children’s primary school invited parents whose jobs it was to help others (like nurses, firefighters, police, paramedics) to come in and talk to the children about what they did.  My job was to support families when a baby had died. At the end of my talk, I asked if any of the children knew of any animal or person who had died and over 90 hands went up, each child wanting to tell me more. That was the day I realised that we need to help our children talk about loss and death. Years later I was working with a group of bereaved children at a hospice and wrote Pepper, Pooch and Little to read to them on the day that a hamster, a dog and a tortoise came to visit…”

Riding on a Dangerous Wind

A fictional novel based on my own experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer on my son's 7th birthday, I hope this book shows those going through their own trauma the possibility of a light at the end of the tunnel.

"Caroline Jay has the insight and understanding to convery a difficult story with compassion and humanity .... a wonderful guide as to what is helpful and what is not."  Sandi Toksvig.

Outliving The Hamster

A play adapted from Riding on a Dangerous Wind - written, produced and performed at the Edinburgh Festival fringe.

"A wonderful piece whose humour gleefully transcends any mere survivor's tale, and so deserves a far wider audience onstage and even TV.  This should be seen in every theatre across the land."  Nick Awde, The Stage Online.

Miner Dig The Coal

A musical documentary researched and created for the Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent.  The Vic's innovative musical documentary scripts were created from verbatum dialogue recorded over many months.  This is Peter Cheeseman, the theatre's director, on the left, John Connon, a miner, and me after a 4-hour shift at the coalface.