Children’s author back with more words to help

Jo Siddall with her new book The Memory Box.Jo Siddall with her new book The Memory Box.
Jo Siddall with her new book The Memory Box.
AN ORDAINED minister and funeral celebrant is helping grieving youngsters who have lost a loved one with the publication of her second children’s book this year.

Jo A. Siddall is one of the assistant chaplains at Rotherham Hospital, a Rotherham Hospice chaplain and also works as a civil celebrant and minister, taking funerals.

The 47-year-old is group co-ordinator for the Rotherham SoBS Group (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide) and has worked for many years with grieving families.

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Jo decided to write ‘My Grown-up Has Died’ earlier this year as a gentle poem covering some of the emotions of grief and loss to help children dealing with bereavement and says the response has been “very positive.”

Now the married mum of three has written a second children's book 'The Memory Box: Remembering My Grown-Up', again featuring watercolour illustrations by Raquel Paolini.

“The book is about those memories we collect through life and how precious these are,” said Jo, who lived in Rotherham for nine years when she was the Methodist superintendent and is now a free Methodist running her own business Patchwork Promises and Soul Stories.

“The book is the same style as my last, but whereas the first was a Christian book, this one is not.

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Memories can be propped by a photograph, a place, a song – we remember in so many different ways at so many different times.

“Children can keep ‘memory boxes’ to help them remember special people, places and times.

“This book acts as a prompt to help with remembering in a gentle way the ‘ordinary’ things of life that makes life ‘extraordinary'.

“My hope is that it helps children as they learn to live with loss and gives them confidence to share their own stories.”

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Jo's next book will be about supporting both adults and children who have lost a pet or companion animal.

“This will be quite a different style, and I am in the research phase,” added Jo who expects to write its first draft by Christmas.

'The Memory Box' is published by Small World Big Imagination Ltd and available to order from Waterstones and Amazon.