Frankie s d in f a Rainbow
By Kerry Francis
For Jack and Nicholas
© Kerry Francis t/as Let’s Talk Ltd, 2011. Except as provided by the New Zealand Copyright Act 1994, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Illustrations by Paul Ikin www.paulikin.com Published by Let’s Talk Ltd www.letstalk.co.nz ISBN: 978-0-473-18693-7
Frankie the frog lived in a glorious pond full of lilypads. He loved jumping from one to the other in the warm sun. His favourite things about where he lived were the bright colours of the plants and insects, the loud joyful sounds and the fresh sweet smells. He had fish to talk to and crispy pond weed to eat, and he could play all day.
But one day a terrible thing happened. Frankieâ€™s Dad came with a tear in his eye and told him that Mum had died. The news took Frankieâ€™s breath away. He felt himself go very still. His Dad cuddled him and together they cried.
For a little while Frankie didnâ€™t believe that something so terrible could be true and he kept looking around for his Mum.
Frankie felt afraid because all the sounds, colours and smells of the pond now seemed dull and uninteresting. Frankie’s Dad said, “That’s normal when you’ve had a big shock like this. It’s the same for me too without Mum.”
“Everything seems so still and silent,” said Frankie. “It feels as if I’m looking out a window at the world even when I’m outside. Even when I know that it’s not night time, everything looks dark. I can see animals and insects moving around, but it looks as if they are moving in slow motion. I don’t feel like playing any more. If I do I suddenly remember what’s happened and I feel sick and scared.”
“You won’t always feel like this,” said his Dad. “We will stay close together and talk about our feelings. Slowly you will feel happier again. The pond will be bright and fun again. For now it looks dull because you are so sad. There will always be times when you miss Mum, but you won’t always feel as sad as you feel now.”
“Our friend Rachel Rabbit lost her Mum too and knows all about how we are feeling. I’ll invite her over and we can talk.”
Rachel Rabbit came and sat quietly with them on their lilypads. She gave Frankie a gentle hug. Frankie felt calm with Rachel Rabbit. He could tell her what he was feeling about his Mum.
“What you are feeling is called grief,” said Rachel. “It’s all kinds of feelings and it can be confusing. When somebody dies you feel as if everybody else is carrying on as normal and you are left out. You might feel frozen even, like an ice block, or very lonely. Then sometimes you might feel sad or angry or scared. It’s important to remember that you won’t feel bad forever.”