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Youth response to difficult topics

My book, ‘Hold on please, Emily,’ discusses several difficult topics that families typically hide away from until they are directly impacted due to the loss of a family member.

I’m not saying that there will be a point in time when we can easily roll the word ‘cancer’ or ‘death’ off our tongues at the dinner table, but what I am suggesting is that we need to feel comfortable discussing these topics with our loved ones, including our children.

When I wrote my book, I hoped that my novel would unlock the doorway to openly discuss these topics with family, friends, and those important to you. No matter what materials I may produce, the discussion would never be any easier. However, these mediums do the initial work of introducing it and raising important questions, which honestly is the hardest part because who wants to be the one bringing it up in the first place.

Nowadays, society is much more comfortable talking about these topics. It’s still taboo at times, but youth are beginning to learn about death, grief, and illness at an earlier age. Not all books and movies end with fairytale endings nowadays, and many people are starting to write memoirs to document their own cancer experiences. School boards have added grief and illness to their curriculum under the mental health criteria, When local school boards discovered my book, they were pleased to know that I addressed these issues in a school-friendly medium. We already began a discussion on potentially adding my book to their libraries or using it for in-class projects.

As such, when speaking about these topics to teenagers, they were quite comfortable engaging in the conversation. Some even asked very thought-provoking questions and shared ways in which they’ve coped. There was generally a positive response to the topics. Although they’ve admitted that it was sad to talk about it, many of them were glad to have the discussion. For some who had family members that were currently cancer patients, they felt relieved to learn more about what they were going through and expressed that they now can understand how to approach them without being insensitive.

Want to read more?

Check out the September edition of ‘Hold On‘ to read the full article on this topic discussed at my ‘Author Talks.’ If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, you can get access to read my digital magazine here

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