Psychological Preps for Children; DEAR MILLI by Jacob Grimm : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

This is an awkward subject to work into a thread.

The fairy tale now known as "DEAR MILLI" was written by one of the Grimm brothers -- Jacob, if memory serves -- to a niece of his. The letter containing the fairy tale was handed down in the niece's family over the last 100+ years and was of course recently (1994?) rediscovered. Translated into English, the story is illustrated by Maurice Sendak in some of his most eleaborate, breathtaking and moving work ever ... as befits the story ....

Which tells of a young girl and her mother, as their homeland is englufed in war. the mother sends the littel girl awaay with her guardian angel, into the woods, where she will be safe and wil not witness atrocities. The girl finds her way to a little cottage (perrenial theme, hmmm?) inhabited by St. Joseph, and she spends a blissful three days, and wishes never to leave. St. Jospeh gives her a rose which he says will bloom when it is time for her to return to him. She heads home to her mother, and on arriving it appears that 30 years have passed, and the mother is now very old. Mother is elated to see the daughter, whom she believed had died. The two lay down to sleep, and in the morning they are dead, and the rose has blossomed in their hands.

If you have young children, I have foudn this an delightful book, "sumpusously illustrated", and an effective, memorable and evocative way of teaching tender children themes of war, seperation, loss, death, hope and return, without scaring or alienating them.

Comes along at a good time.

It should be available at your library or any bookstore.

-- Roch Steinbach (, December 02, 1999


From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

This comes from someone who's not read this book. I don't get it. That sounds morbid and pointless. It's not that I think children should be shielded from talking or thinking about the possibility of problems, either.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), December 04, 1999.

Yeah ... you should read it. It's shocking at first just to see the subject handled so forthrightly and yet with such poetic grace. Presumably it was edited out of the Marchen/Grimm's Fairy Tales for reasons along those very lines. Not a standard fairy tale -- but a real standout, and short of the death of a pet or a family member it's the best thing I have encountered for bringing the issue of death and the afterlife into the consciousness of younger children.

It's morbid, yes, I guess, in the lieteral sense that it deals with mors, directly with the topic of death ... which if you're a TB2000 regular you ight think we'd be dealing with all too often in the months or years to come. But it also deals with war, seperation, and longing .... well, hey ... from a good old fashioned Christian perspective that could remind the heart faced with tragedy that this life is maybe not just the be-all and end-all.

-- Roch Steinbach (, December 04, 1999.

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