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photo How I Coped When Mommy Died
By Brett Hardy Blake & Lori Hope

This inspiring video was created by 13-year-old Brett Hardy Blake, after losing his mother to breast cancer when he was ten. With mature insight and engaging humor, Brett presents his story in a deeply moving but not maudlin way. Outstanding original music, animated video sequences, photographs and artwork illustrate the teenager's experiences, thoughts, and feelings, while his narrative takes the viewer on a personal journey through several years of his life.

Brett talks openly about his feelings, from his fears during his mother's illness (she was first diagnosed when he was only three) to his feeling of numbness after her death. But he notes that "This film is not just about my mother dying, it's about a life, a love, and just going on and being helped." Most of all, it's about how, with the right support, individuals can survive and grow through the most tragic of circumstances.

Co-produced with Brett's adoptive mother, Lori Hope, herself an Emmy-winning filmmaker, How I Coped When Mommy Died is important viewing for anyone who has had to deal with a loss, and for anyone caring for or supporting someone who is grieving a death, divorce or other personal tragedy. It will be especially valuable for older children and teens, but the filmmakers recommend that adults discuss the content with young people before watching.

26 minutes
© 1999
Purchase $225 DVD
Order No. QA-312
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-830-8
close captioned

"A truly magnificent, life-affirming accomplishment: personal, poignant, and comprehensive." Rabbi Earl Grollman, author of Talking About Death

"Editor's Choice." Booklist

"As a health care professional, I found this video to be an excellent resource. Brett's natural style in front of the camera and his ability to relate to the viewers is refreshing." Journal of Palliative Medicine

"It is difficult to imagine a better, more helpful tool for a child who has suffered a terrible personal loss. Editor's Choice and highly recommended!" Video Librarian

"This film is unique and necessary. Brett's powerful voice is going to be of incredible help" Andrea Martin, The Breast Cancer Fund

"Highly Recommended for all libraries especially those with grief and loss collections." MC Journal

Awards & Conference Screenings
Broadcast on public television
American Psychological Association
Western Psychological Association
National Social Science Association
Fledgling Film Festival

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Surviving Death: Seven people from a variety of cultural backgrounds speak openly about how they have been affected by the death of someone close to them, and about the ways they have found to survive their loss.

Dearly Loved: In this short trigger film three young adults, from different cultural backgrounds, talk frankly and movingly about what it has been like to experience the death of a parent.

Out of Order: When children die before their parents, it seems a violation of the natural order of things. In this short documentary, three couples talk of what they've gone through since the recent deaths of their children through illness, accident, or suicide.


Awards & Screenings

Related Films

Study Guide

Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website