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by Rod Mebane, Emma's Dad, with a foreword from Alan Pedersen, Executive Director, The Compassionate Friends
The newly-released compilation of Tributes to Lost Children presents an amazing mosaic of ways in which 147 families have, with deep and abiding love, honored their children who have passed away.
Tributes to Lost Children is based on insights gathered from a survey of families conducted by author Rod Mebane, himself a bereaved father. In this heart-touching collection of tribute stories, there are literally hundreds of tributes - from the creation of treasure boxes for special mementos to planting colorful gardens in the yard, supporting charitable 5Ks, and joining with others in a worldwide candle lighting service. The list goes on and on, and together the stories create a wonderfully moving account of how families have paid tribute to their children.
Alan Pedersen, the Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends, wrote the foreword to Tributes to Lost Children, in which he notes, "In my nearly fifteen years walking this walk as a bereaved father, I have not come across such a powerful resource of first-hand information. This book has a wealth of examples of how others not only survived their loss, but also what they did that helped them find their way back to fully living again."
The beautifully designed book is straightforward and easy-to-read. The narrative flows easily along the lines of what Mebane refers to as the Tributes Framework - a simple thematic structure based on the families' interests 1) to keep the children present in their lives, 2) to have their children be remembered, and 3) and ultimately to create some good from their losses. As one dad offered in the survey, "The tributes help by making us proactive. It gives us something to do rather than just sitting and letting the feelings of deep grief overwhelm us. So much of this is out of our control and, by doing something, it gives us a sense that we can contribute in a meaningful way."
If you have lost a child, you will find fellowship in these pages, and you may see yourself and your child in some of the beautiful tributes. If you have not lost a child, reading this book will deepen your understanding of one of life's most tragic dimensions. Regardless of your circumstances, you will pay important tribute yourself by allowing the children to live on, as you read these personal stories about them.
Net proceeds from the sale of Tributes to Lost Children are used by the nonprofit Starshine Galaxy Foundation NFP to underwrite a variety of efforts - all in tribute to children who have passed away and in support of their bereaved families.