Was there another force guiding me?

If you have read the "About the Author" page of my website, you may have already heard part of this story. It's about the strange and lovely journey that I went on, in order to publish Peace in the Storm - After the Death of Your Mother. I wonder whether the events along the way were mere coincidences or whether there was a guiding force behind the scenes. In 2001, I joined a mothers group after the birth of my first child. There were about twelve of us in all and we met regularly, becoming great friends, through the trials and tribulations of motherhood. When our children were nine years old, one of the mothers in my group, Sue, died of cancer after a lengthy battle, leaving behind her soulmate, Greg and daughter, Emma. It was a very sad time for us, as Sue was a 'shining light' in the mothers group. She was beautiful, inside and out, cheerful, funny, a great conversationalist, caring and interested in other people's lives. During her illness, she refused to discuss her health … [Read more...]

Peace in the Storm – The Book in Hard Cover

What can a child do to cope with the grief of losing their mother? How can a child keep the memories of their mother alive? How do you explain death and loss to a child? Peace in the Storm answers these and many other questions that a child may have after experiencing the death of their mother. The book is written from a spiritual perspective, with the assistance of professionals that work in the area of grief counselling and child psychology. It gives gentle guidance to help children work through their varied emotions. Practical ideas are also provided for the preservation of the precious memories a child has of their mother. The book is beautifully illustrated by a 14-year-old girl, making it a heart-warming gift of comfort for a child who is grieving. Coping with bereavement can be challenging no matter who you are, young or old. Peace in the Storm complements grief counselling with exercises to help children release the varied emotions that come with death and … [Read more...]

Book Launch May 2013

On 4th May 2013, I held a book launch for my first book, Peace in the Storm - After the Death of Your Mother at Riverview Function Centre in Footscray. The venue was beautiful, with a gorgeous outlook over the Maribyrnong River and the city of Melbourne lit up in the background. Around 150 people attended, so I was kept busy signing books for most of the night. I nervously made my speech, cried after the first few words but continued on, nonetheless. Everything I had planned to say went out the window because of my nerves, but I got through it okay in the end. I was fortunate to have Greg and Emma Pole at the launch and many members of their family. They are such wonderful, inspirational people and the very reason that I wrote the book in the first place. The illustrator of my book, Taryn Ryan and designer, Lisa Howard, were also present, which was fantastic! It was great for them to see the outcome of their hard work. By the time the book sales had finished (thanks … [Read more...]

The Evolution of Child Bereavement

by Rev Barbara Simone Accessing Spiritual Strength in Children: The Changeless Power of Love There is an innate ability within all of us to move through life’s challenging experiences with grace and strength. This includes the child. The proper environment or “healing space”, coupled with spiritually empowering activities allows a bereaved child to successfully move through the life experience of grief, and actually discover inner strengths to empower themself in the future. The “proper environment” to support a bereaved child starts with seeing the spiritual wholeness of the child, then opening up a dialogue that supports, validates and empowers: Every child is a spiritual being on the early path of discovering what it means to be human. As a spiritual being, the child is seen as possessing wholeness and inner strength. The period of grief is a “teachable moment”¹ - a specific moment of time in a child’s life which can occur at any time after the death of a loved one. … [Read more...]

In the News – Book Launch

Point Cook Wyndham Leader April 16 2013 Unfortunately, they printed Melinda instead of Melanie Sparks. … [Read more...]

Peace in the Storm – Book Launch

I am pleased to announce the launch of my new book 'Peace in the Storm - After the Death of Your Mother'. I will be celebrating this occasion at a venue in Melbourne's inner western suburbs on Saturday 4th May, 2013 at 7pm. If you would like to attend, the cost is $50.00 per person, which includes finger food and a signed copy of 'Peace in the Storm - After the Death of Your Mother'. Drinks may be purchased at bar prices. Payment will only be accepted via PayPal by 3rd May 2013. If you wish to attend, please click here, enter your name, email address and specify the number of tickets you require in the Comments field. A request for payment will be emailed to you. Once the payment has been processed, we will email you further details of the venue. Hope to see you there! Melanie Sparks. … [Read more...]

How Children Grieve Loss and Death

Elizabeth Kubler Ross in her book Children and Death states:"either knowingly or unconsciously, we pass our acquired fears along to our children and are not aware unit it is too late that those cause indescribable damage and pain." Do children actually grieve? As a caring adult, have you taught them how to realize the emotions in a safe and appropriate way? Parents wonder if the grief their child feels can ever be the same as grief experienced by adults, and thus, there is little need to dwell on unhappiness. Differences In Grief Between Adults and Children While there are many similarities, childhood's understanding of the finality of death is based on many fictional representations on television and video games. Unless they have personally experienced the loss of a pet or relative, it may not seem real to them. Their range of experiences limit their understanding of the finality of death. In younger children, they may not be able to cognitively understand the intense … [Read more...]

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