‘Football Crazy’ – a story about life, love and death as seen through the eyes of a boy crazy about football.
Children’s stories can be helpful in providing ways for parents to discuss difficult subjects with their children. It’s never easy for loving parents to approach the subject of death with their children. Understandably some parents avoid the subject all together – yet loss is a sad but inevitable part of life.
When we avoid or distract a child from a subject that is worrying them we are closing off an opportunity for growth. Some subjects are too difficult or painful to discuss, particularly when we are in mourning ourselves.
When a mother or father is grieving following the death of their own parent their children can be experiencing confusion as well as sadness and loss. A loved one is gone. Questions arise – where have they gone? Will they ever see them again? Will our family ever be happy and have fun, like we used to?
Sometimes, other kind relatives tell children stories about where the dead person may have gone to. These stories can differ from ‘Granny’ is an angel looking down from heaven – to ‘Granny has gone for a long restful sleep because she was tired.’
The stories we use to tell children about death vary from culture to culture, religion to religion, but what doesn’t vary is the fact that when a loved one dies they leave a space in the family where they used to be.
One child described a ‘granny shaped hole in the house.’ Others talk about the ‘empty chair nobody ever wants to sit on.’
‘Football Crazy’ is about this empty space in the family. In this story it is the Grandfather who dies. This wonderful, loving football crazy granddad had been a huge part of this football loving family and without him they don’t enjoy football any more. As a family they learn to accept the loss gradually and together they find a way to enjoy their lives again while always remembering their wonderful, football crazy granddad.