The Grief Jar

by Lynsey Shaw in Plymouth, England, United Kingdom


£4,500 target 27 days left
29% 34 supporters
This project will only be funded if at least £4,500 is pledged by 28th July 2022 at 12:00pm

Help to publish a heart warming book for children about a little bear's journey with grief - of human nature and the kindness of friends

by Lynsey Shaw in Plymouth, England, United Kingdom

About The Grief Jar

This book is aimed at 3 - 8 year olds(although can be appreciated by children and adults alike) consists of 32 pages and is an honest but gentle telling of a little bear's story of grief.  The story begins with Bear sitting in a dark room alone with a big heavy jar filled with feelings that he can't move by himself. His friends want him to come out and play but they can see that he's sad and don't know what to do.  Each animal friend comes in to see if they can help, and one by one ask him about his Daddy.  


As Bear shares stories about his Daddy, he begins to feel he may be able to lift the jar if he can get a little help from his friends.  They begin to assist him in carrying his jar, coming up with practical ways to make it easier to carry.  


The story aims to show that grief is a weight that people carry around with them, and they cannot simply put it down, but family and friends can find ways of helping them carry that grief and make them feel less alone.  Grief can mean tears and sadness, but grief can also mean sharing joyful memories of the person we've lost.


My story

I'm Lynsey, and I'm an Illustrator and Graphic Designer living with my husband and young daughter in Plymouth, Devon.  In June 2020 I lost my Dad to cancer, and due to the pandemic I was unable to visit him in the last 3 months of his life.  His funeral was very limited and we were unable to gather to grieve collectively as a family at the time.  I feel that this ignited a passion in me to channel my grief into something that could help others with their own loss, or of those around them.  The pandemic robbed many families of loved ones, and time with loved ones in their last hours.

However despite this widespread loss, the subject of grief and death is still avoided in conversation, because it's considered an awkward subject.  I wanted to normalise the story of grief particularly among children, so that they feel less isolated and they grow to be adults that know how to support those going through loss.  I wish that people would ask me about my Dad as telling stories about him makes those feelings of grief lighter, and allows him to live on in our story telling.


I have illustrated three previous children books for other authors, but this will be the very first book that I have both written and illustrated.  This is an emotional project for me, as I've been able to illustrate my own memories of my Dad into Bear's stories and hope to read it to my daughter to carry on the conversation of what he meant to me, and what he was like.

What will the money be used for?

The money will be used to fund the self publishing and first print run of this very first book illustrated and written by myself.  The higher tiers of the fundraiser will also contribute copies of the book to the charity Rainbow Bereavement Support GB.  The amount of money raised will dictate the quality and look of the cover and content of the book - the more we can raise, the more detailed and intricate the cover's details can be - gold foil, special finishes etc.  Having worked for a design and print firm in Cornwall that printed my first two children's books I know the process of arranging a book for print, and will be organising the process from beginning to end, keeping the production of this book within Devon & Cornwall.

Who are Rainbows Bereavement Support?


Rainbows is a well respected national charity having a proven, positive impact on the lives of children, young people and adults grieving a significant and often devastating loss in their lives.

  • Raising awareness of the impact of bereavement and loss on children, young people and adults
  • Facilitating high quality education and training in bereavement and loss
  • Providing practical, realistic and sensitive guidance to ensure all schools have appropriate bereavement policies and procedures  in place
  • Nurturing and developing the emotional health and mental well-being of children, young people and adults who have experienced a significant loss through death, relationship breakdown or other adverse circumstance

Rainbows Review on "The Grief Jar":

"The Grief Jar is a moving tale about the warmth of human nature and the kindness of friends. A sensitively told story about the feelings of loss, beautifully illustrated and appealing to both children and adults. I will be recommending it."

Eleanor Clarke, National Co-Director, Rainbows Bereavement Support GB 

Still not convinced?

Contributing to this project will not only bring a much needed resource to those experiencing grief but the higher tiers will donate to a charity making a real difference to those experiencing grief and loss.  Plus the more you donate, the greater reward you can receive in thanks for your contributions - a copy of the finished book, accessories featuring characters from the book, bookmarks, artwork prints, or your name inside the cover!?

Thanks so much for your time reading this, and please feel free to share the project.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£30 or more

5 of 100 claimed

Tier 4 *Signed* Get your name inside the cover

Tier 4 *Signed* The Grief Jar Get your name printed inside the cover A4 Artwork print Colouring pages from story artwork *Stretch rewards: Limited edition foiled cover + Bookmark

£3 or more

Buy me a coffee!

Donate the cost of a coffee and I'll have a virtual one on you! any donation is appreciated to get me towards the total - here's a virtual high five from me!

£6 or more

Tier 1 Grief Jar eBook

eBook of The Grief jar *Stretch rewards: Download Colouring pages from story artwork*

£12 or more

1 of 300 claimed

Tier 2 The Grief Jar book

Tier 2 The Grief jar soft cover edition *Stretch rewards: Colouring pages & Bookmark*

£20 or more

3 of 200 claimed

Tier 3 *Signed* The Grief jar & Other treats

Tier 3 *Signed* The Grief jar soft cover edition and Colouring pages from story artwork *Stretch rewards: A4 Artwork print + Bookmark*

£40 or more

3 of 50 claimed

Tier 5 *Signed* 2 Books donated

Tier 5 *Signed* The Grief Jar - Get your name printed inside the cover, A4 Artwork print, Colouring pages from story artwork, Bookmark *Stretch rewards: Limited edition foiled cover + 2 books donated to Rainbows Bereavement GB, Hospice or Hospitals in the UK

£150 or more

0 of 50 claimed

Tier 6 "The Grief Jar" Ambassador

Become a "The Grief Jar" Ambassador and give this project a big boost on its way to getting printed and receive a *Signed* copy of The Grief Jar + Get your name printed inside the cover and donate 4 books to Rainbows Bereavement Charity, Hospices or Hospitals in the UK *Stretch reward Limited edition foiled cover*

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