Amy Rovere is an award-winning author, writer & editor, and artist.
Amy serves on the editorial staff of the American Cancer Society’s Books Division, helping create books for patients and families who are coping with cancer.
Amy is a member of the American Medical Writers Association and the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Amy lives in Decatur, Georgia with her husband, Ricky, and daughter, Isabella.
When I was nine years old, my mother died of lung cancer. Afterwards, I was devastated. But like many grieving children, I didn’t have the ability to put my feelings into words. Talking about grief can be incredibly difficult for both children and adults, and my family struggled.
Based on my experience, I wanted to write a book to help children in a similar situation feel less alone in their grief. In July 2012, the American Cancer Society published my first book, And Still They Bloom: A Family’s Journey of Loss and Healing. In this story, siblings Emily and Ben are struggling to come to terms with the loss of their mother to cancer. The children embark on a journey of healing and acceptance as they come to realize they can keep their mother’s memory alive—that her love will stay with them always.
Approximately 2 million children*and adolescents in the United States experience the loss of one or both parents before they turn eighteen.The loss of a parent can be especially hard on children, who can experience a wide range of emotions, including sadness, anger, guilt, and anxiety. The death of a loved one is traumatic for every family member, and family dynamics change after a loss.
Parents, as well as children, need support and guidance as they struggle to adapt to their changed world and begin the healing process. The message I most want to convey to families is that it is possible to relieve some of the burden of grief. Coping does eventually get easier over time, even if the pain of loss never completely leaves us. I am thankful that, in publishing my book, the American Cancer Society has allowed me to reach out to grieving families—to share the message that while the pain of loss never completely goes away, we can find ways to honor our loved ones, keep their memory alive, and find joy again after loss.
*Source: U. S. Social Security Administration as reported in Chicago Tribune Magazine
July 18, 1999.