Elyse and Me
Conversations between a Child and God about Dying
About the Book
What's it like for a child to find out they have a life-threatening illness? What would they think and feel? They might know that they could die from this illness, but do they really understand what dying is? Do they wonder what happens to them if they actually die?
This tender story is about a nine-year-old girl who has cancer. Her name is Elyse and this story follows her journey through the wide-ranging thoughts and emotions of a child faced with the possibility of dying. What if her chemotherapy doesn't work? She knows that could happen. She doesn't know what to trust. She alternately feels great hope and terror. What if she dies? What does that even mean?
Elyse's parents talk about going to heaven and being with God forever. Does that sound appealing to a nine year old? Absolutely not. Leave her parents forever? Leave all her friends, neighborhood, school and favorite things forever? Comfort seems to be out of reach for Elyse.
But what if God himself were to show up and actually speak with Elyse? What if he would answer all of her questions and present the experience of heaven as enjoyable and fun? That sounds helpful, but would God actually do that?
One night Elyse's parents told her that her doctors were worried that the chemotherapy might not work anymore. Elyse was grief-stricken. She was scared and angry. She and her parents all hugged each other and cried together. Elyse finally cried herself to sleep.
In the middle of the night Elyse was woken up by something very puzzling and yet amazing. She didn't know it at the time, but her discovery would completely turn things around for her. She was about to start on a new adventure that could lead her into death ... and beyond.
About the Author
John's experience includes an M.A. in Transpersonal Studies, a hospice volunteer, and former Chaplain Intern at a hospice house. He has great empathy for children facing life-threatening illnesses. His experience has taught him how to talk with people about death with compassion and deep wisdom.
John lives in Olympia, Washington.