If there was one book I could send out to every child and adult who has ever lost someone they loved, Badger's Parting Gift is it.

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Badger's Parting Gifts - H






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Susan Varley
Illustrated by Susan Varley
More by Susan Varley

The essence of this book was a blessing to me in dealing with the death of my mother years ago. It was instrumental in showing me that I have not ''lost'' her -- that she has simply taken another form -- and the things she taught me, and the memories she's left me with, are part of that new form.

Badger's Parting Gifts is the story of the life and death of someone very special. The book begins when old, tired Badger, feels as though his body doesn't work as well as it used to, and death, which he does not fear at all, is most likely nearing. That evening he writes a note to his friends, settles into his chair by the fire and has a very unusual dream -- of a Long Tunnel, down which, he is running. Of course, this is Badger's death and there is, most assuredly, a liberating and joyful feeling to it.

During his remarkable life Badger was a friend of almost everyone who knew him, and each friend has warm, loving memories of when he was living with them. Initially, Badger's friends feel a deep loss after his death, but, in time, they come to appreciate their recollections of the times spent with him. And then, they are able to smile again. You see, each person remembers something different: Mole remembers how Badger had taught him to use scissors; Frog remembers how wonderful and patient he was teaching him how to skate, and...well, you get the drift. By remembering each of these ''gifts,'' they recognize that Badger is still very much a part of their lives.

I could go on and on about how I feel this book is ''right on'' -- especially after ''coaching'' my mother while she took her last breaths. During the first holiday season after her death, I was confronted with lots of memories and treasures from the past. Like the tree ornaments she got for Elizabeth's first Christmas, the eating extravaganzas we had at our house during this season when I was a child, etc. The holidays seemed to offer many opportunities to cry, but this book helped keep things in perspective. She and Dad left me so many ''gifts.'' I cried plentifully during that first Christmas without her, but it was not just because I couldn't give her a Christmas hug; it was also because the whole idea of ''parting gifts'' and thus, her continued ''presence'' here was pretty overwhelming.

This book's essence is very special. It's good for the heart, even if you don't, at this moment, have a loved one who is getting ready to go down, or has already gone down, the Long Tunnel.

(Note: These books are considered ''Imperfect'' as they have a black ink mark either on the top or bottom of the pages. Publishers often do this when a book goes out of print.)

(Ages: 4 and up)

#303 - Hardcover Book - 23 pgs
Regularly $15.00   Sale price $8.97

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