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Author Illustrator Cori Doerrfeld: Here's How to Let Children Grieve -- Learn to Listen

Children’s author and illustrator Cori Doerrfeld says that often what a person needs when they’re struggling with loss and grief is someone who will just listen. Grieving children need a good listener, too, as Doerrfeld shows through her books.

 As part of the library’s ongoing series, “Death & Dying: Conversations on End-of-Life Matters,” children and families are invited to hear Doerrfeld speak at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, in the Library Center auditorium. Doerrfeld will talk about her books “Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!” and “The Rabbit Listened.” 

The Death & Dying series is designed to help people plan for the future, alleviate fears and talk with friends and family in ways they maybe didn’t feel comfortable doing before, says Sarah Jane Rosendahl, a library staffer who organized the series.  

 “We are delighted to bring children’s author/illustrator Cori Doerrfeld to Springfield as part of this year’s lineup,” Rosendahl says.  “We hope her event inspires families with children of any age to have these conversations as well. It can be difficult but it’s important for children to be included in some of these conversations, so they, too, can understand and process their grief when confronted by death throughout their lives.”

Other highlights in the “Death & Dying” series occur earlier this week at the Library Center.

 On Monday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m., staff from Lost & Found Grief Center will address “Is This Normal? Understanding Themes of Loss,” and talk about what you can expect to experience when grieving the death of a family, friends or co-workers.  

 Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium, Rabbi Barbara Block from Temple Israel will talk about how Jewish customs and ideas about death differ from those associated with mainstream American funerals.

On Saturday, Nov. 9, at 2 p.m. in the auditorium, Dr. Meda McClure from Greener Pastures Pet Hospice, will discuss how to best care for our pets at life’s end, and grieving their loss.

The series ends Sunday, Nov. 10, from 3-5 in meeting rooms A and B with Death Café of the Ozarks, an open time for casual conversations about end-of-life matters.

“Having open, honest discussions about death and dying can help alleviate our fears, make educated decisions and remind us to live life to the fullest,” Rosendahl says.

Kathleen O'Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at kathleeno@thelibrary.org.

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