The Surprise Flower Garden

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This story is about a boy who plans to surprise hisgrandmother by planting a flower garden for her. The surprise ending is designed to help children see how another child deals with grieving his loss and open communication about their thoughts and feelings.


  • ABOUT THIS BOOKThis childrens book was written for grieving suicidesurvivors by a child and mother suicide survivor.Children have magical thinking, and the grief thatsuicide survivors experience can be intense, complex,and long term. Children are especially vulnerable tofeelings of guilt and abandonment.

    This story is about a boy who plans to surprise hisgrandmother by planting a flower garden for her. Thesurprise ending is designed to help children see howanother child deals with grieving his loss and opencommunication about their thoughts and feelings.

    There are a few pages at the end of this book thatencourages children to personalize the book byadding their names, their loved ones name andpicture, and their own drawings about their feelings,thoughts, and memories. (The pictures a child drawson these pages are designed to help a parent orcaring adult understand what the child is thinking orfeeling about their loved ones death.)

    Supplies Needed: The children will need coloredpencils or crayons to draw their pictures. If more thanone child will be drawing pictures, a parent or caringadult will need to either copy the pages or hand writethe topics on additional paper.

  • One sunny morning, Blake decided to surprise hisGrandmother Bunnies by planting a flower garden for her.After sharing his plan with his best friend, and dog Duke,he went to the garage to get his garden tools and make ashopping list. Right away he found his shovel, rake, andwatering bucket, but he could not find his garden gloves.

    Duke, Do you know where my garden gloves are?Dukes head dropped and he put his paws over his eyesand said, I am pretty sure I buried them in thebackyard.

    What? Duke! Why did you bury my gloves?Duke shrugged his shoulders and said, Im sorry. Theysmelled like a bone to me.Now I have to add gloves to my shopping list, thanks toyou. I appreciate your apology Duke, but actions haveconsequences, so I decided not to give you table scrapsfor two days as punishment for your actions!TWO DAYS! Thats harsh! said Duke.

    Taking things that dont belong to you is very serious!he said sternly. I really hope this punishment helps youlearn to make better decisions in the future! c Ill try to be better at making good decisions in thefuture. I really am sorry, replied Duke.

    I cant ask for more than that. Apology accepted.

  • Blake put on his backpack, and stuffed his shopping list inhis pocket. Hmmm, where is my bike helmet?

    Duke said, I know! I know! and ran past him to fetch it.

    Here you go, Duke said, and handed him the helmet.

    Thank you Duke. You are a good boy! he said, as heplaced it on his head.

    Blake rode down the street toward the store with Dukefollowing close behind. Duke spotted a puddle of water onthe ground so he stopped to look at it. The water wassmooth and clear, just like a mirror. He was thirsty, so heleaned towards the water, and saw his own face reflectedon the surface. He had never seen his reflection before sohe thought the dog looking up at him was another dog. Hestarted barking and growling at the water.

    Duke! What are you barking at boy?

    Duke replied, I see another dog in the water looking upat me!

    You silly boy! Blake laughed. That is your ownreflection!

    Oh, I knew that. I was just joking, Duke said, andbegan to drink the water.

    As Duke drank, he saw that the other dog haddisappeared and he felt relieved that Blake was right.

  • Blake and Duke were almost to the store, when theyheard a bird whistling Dixie. They stopped, lookedaround, and Blake spotted a bird in an old oak treelooking down at them.

    Thats amazing! he said, looking up at the bird. I ameight years old, and I barely know how to whistle! Wheredid you learn how to whistle like that?

    Its easy. I taught myself, replied the bird. All youhave to do is puff out your throat feathers, and blow.

    Throat feathers, he said, while placing his hands aroundhis throat. I dont have throat feathers.

    Well theres your problem, replied the bird.

    Can you teach me?

    I cannot teach you because you dont have throatfeathers, answered the bird.

    What about fur? Duke asked. I dont have throatfeathers, but I have throat fur. Can you teach me?

    No! shouted the bird, irritated that the boys keptasking. I cant teach you because you dont have throatfeathers! Now you two scat! I have to practice whistlingmy songs.

    Okay, Blake said respectfully. Well be on our way,and rode off toward the store.

  • Blake and Duke made it to the store safely, and as theywalked inside to get a shopping cart, they found a smallgold nugget on the ground.

    Wow! Have you seen one of these before? asked Blake.

    Not like that one! answered Duke.

    The boys put the gold nugget on a nearby table, and satdown to study it.

    Where do you think it came from? asked Blake.

    I think it came from Uncle Mikes gold panning bucket,said Duke.

    If it is from Uncle Mikes gold panning bucket, it sure isfar from home. It might be worth a lot of money. Whatshould we do with it?

    We should keep it! answered Duke.

    It might belong to someone.

    If it does belong to someone, they should have takenbetter care of it. We should just keep it! replied Duke.

    If it had been ours, and we lost it, we would want itback.

    We would. You're right. Let's drop it off at the Lost andFound Department, replied Duke.

  • After turning in the gold nugget, and finishing hisshopping; Blake placed all the items from the cart on thecheckout counter. After the cashier scanned his last item,and hit the total button, a loud alarm sounded.

    Congratulations! Youve just won a package of MAGICFLOWER SEEDS! said the cashier.

    What is a magic flower seed? asked Blake.

    It is a seed that magically creates the flower youpicture in your mind, minutes after you plant the seed inthe ground, explained the cashier.

    Wow! Thats awesome!

    Your flower garden will be as beautiful as you imagine itto be, said the cashier.

    I cant wait to plant these seeds! I have the bestimagination out of everybody I know, Blake said proudly.

    Thats great because the sky is the limit! said thecashier.

    The sky is the limit, repeated Blake.

    The wheels started turning in his mind, and he had visionsof big, beautiful, colorful, flowers growing all over in thebackyard. He put all the seeds, and his new gloves, insidehis backpack, and ran out the door. He got on his bike,and was anxious to get home.

  • He rode toward home, when all of a sudden, his friendGracie jumped out in front of him and scared him. Heslammed on his brakes to avoid hitting her, and fell over.

    What did you do that for? he shouted.

    Gracie laughed and said, Hi Blake. Hi Duke. Why arentyou boys at the park watching Checkers and Mohawk,compete in the karaoke competition?

    I forgot that was today! answered Blake. Besides, wehave something really important to do today.

    Everyones there, said Gracie. And what could be moreimportant than supporting your friends?

    Its a surprise, he said, not wanting to tell her. Andwhos everyone?

    Well, let me think, said Gracie, tapping her finger onher chin and then she blurted out, Okay, I will probablysing a song. Checkers and Mohawk are for sure singing asong. Mark and Bunnies are there, and Mark is thinkingabout singing your favorite song Wam ba lam. Mike,Devon and Matt are there, and Kristin, Sara and Carrieare with them, doing their best to keep them out oftrouble.

    Oh boy! The song is called Black Betty Gracie.

    Okay! Mark will probably sing your favorite song BlackBetty Blake, said Gracie.

  • I really need to go, said Blake. Plus, Ive heard all ofyou sing before and Im sure that my Grandma Bunnieswill videotape it anyway.

    You dont know if your Grandma Bunnies has her videocamera with her or not, said Gracie.

    Oh, Id bet money on it. My Grandma carries that videocamera with her everywhere she goes. She even videotapes me eating my dinner, said Blake, as he got on hisbike and started riding toward home.

    Youre going to be sorry you missed it! shouted Gracie.

    You may be right Gracie, but I really cant stay, heshouted back at her, and continued riding further andfurther away form her, until he couldnt see her anymore.

    He peddled his bike as fast as he could. All the way homehe imagined flowers growing in the garden.

    The sky is the limit. The sky is the limit, he repeated inhis mind over and over until he made it home. He droppedhis bike and ran through the house, and out to thebackyard.

    Uncle Christopher, Aunt Michelle! What are you twodoing here? he asked, surprised to see them.

    We were on our way to the park to watch Checkers andMohawk sing, and decided to stop by to ask you if youwanted to go with us? answered Christopher.

  • I would love to go watch with you, but I already madeplans to surprise Grandma Bunnies, by planting a flowergarden for her. I bought flower seeds and I won magicflower seeds.

    Magic flower seeds? asked Michelle.

    Yes, Magic! The cashier told me that all I have to do ispicture in my mind what I want the flower to look likewhen I put the seed in the ground, and minutes later theflower that I saw in my mind will grow! he said, burstingwith excitement.

    This Ive got to see! said Christopher, doubtful thatsuch a seed existed.

    We would love to stay and help you! said Michelle.

    Thank you! I could really use your help, he said anxiousto get started. Im running out of time.

    Michelle said, We should draw a picture of what youwant the flower garden to look like before we startplanting the seeds. It is always a good idea to plan yourwork and work your plan.

    Yes, Michelle is correct. You should always measuretwic