Book helps families cope with the death of a child

The 58-page Your Child, Your Jannah was launched at Timbuktu Books.

An Athlone woman and six other people have written a book to help families cope with the death of a child.

The 58-page Your Child, Your Jannah was launched at Timbuktu Books in Sybrand Park last month.

Its six chapters speak to parents struggling to cope with the loss of a child.

Part spiritual guide, the book has advice on how to carry on living after the loss and how to console the child’s siblings.

It includes the stories of parents who have lost their children.

The book was written by Maryam Kriel, Zeenat Parker, Zainab Waggie, and four parents who lost their children.

Ms Kriel, Ms Parker and Ms Waggie are members of Warriors of Hope, a spiritual group that helps parents at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, deal with the death of a child.

Ms Kriel, 44, from Athlone, said she hoped the book brought closure for parents who had lost children and helped them move on with their lives.

Many parents struggled to enjoy life afterwards and embrace the siblings left behind, she said.

Ms Parker, from Rondebosch, who is also the founder and chairwoman of Warriors of Hope, said the book had prayers and stories from the Qur’an and outlined the stages of grief.

“It also has blank pages for parents to use as a journal where they can jot down their feelings and emotions. Many parents continuously wonder where their children are now and what state are they in presently and that’s what the book helps them with.”

It was important for parents to know they could grieve, and they should not suppress their emotions, Ms Kriel said, adding that there were plans to publish further books, with the next one addressing children who had lost a sibling.

Ms Parker said they hoped the public would sponsor the printing of the books so they could be given, at no cost, to those needing them.

“One of the parents who read the book came back to me and said that after five years of losing her child she is finally able to understand things better and move on with her life.”

Moulana Abdullah Forbes, a member of the Muslim Judicial Council’s palliative-care division, said: “We are living in a time where everyone just thinks about themselves, and this book teaches us to be there for our sisters and brothers.

“It lifts your spirits and assures you that after your hardship there will be positivity again. It is a practical form of palliative care and helps one to understand what has happened and the way forward.”

The book sells for R50 and is available at Timbuktu Books in Sybrand Park or from Maryam Kriel. WhatsApp 081 347 5748 or email for more information.