The True Story Behind the Book


A little over a year ago, Marianne was vacationing at a beach in Cancun with her newlywed husband Dave, his son Marcus, Marcus’ wife  Heather, and their three year old son Jax.

A little boy and his family at the beach

A little boy and his grandpa at the beachJax found a crab claw on the beach and asked what it was and where it came from. Thus ensued the conversation reflected in our book, Everyone Dies and Yes, It is Normal.

David wisely turned the discussion over to Marianne, who had been explaining the reality of death to children as part of her job for many years.

When she explained to Jax that everyone dies, Jax naturally responded, “Why?”

Marianne used her own tried and true, simple and  accurate explanation:

“We die when we become VERY VERY hurt, VERY VERY sick, or VERY VERY old.” That led to questions regarding what “VERY VERY” sick, hurt or old means.

A little boy looking at a pelican“A LITTLE BIT of hurt, sick or old won’t cause death…. like a cut finger, a runny nose and cough, or just having gray hair and wrinkles. It has to be a LOT, like being hurt in a really scary accident and the ambulance comes. Or being so sick you can’t breathe or eat, and doctors and medicine just can’t help, even though they try their very best. When someone dies from old age, that happens when they are so old their body just wears out and doesn’t work any more.”

At the end of this short discussion, Jax said “Okay!” He was quite satisfied, and that was that.

Just like in the book, Jax explained death to his dad and mom, and went to sleep with the crab claw next to him in bed.

A little boy in bed with crab claw

Marianne had been thinking about writing this book for years. This day on the beach inspired her to finally do it, as well as the fact that she had just retired and now had time. She reached out to her trusted friend Darlene, who is very creative, a good writer, and because of her experience operating a child care business, understood how to communicate effectively with preschoolers. It was very important to Marianne that the book NOT be too serious or scary, even though it had to be true and direct.

Marianne provided the inspiration and expertise regarding the subject matter; Darlene’s artistic creativity and business acumen enabled them to make this project a reality. These two friends hope their efforts will result in less fear and suffering as everyone faces the inevitable. This is especially important at this time of global pandemic, in which many, many people have died. They hope this will become the “go to” book for starting a very necessary and timely conversation about mortality.

Would you like to share this book with your family? 

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