The Goodbye Box

The DAG-Box (‘Goodbye-box’) is the creation of Dutch play therapist and primary school teacher Bonnie Jansen. Celebrant Rosalie Kuyvenhoven writes:

What is the Goodbye-box?

“The box helps young children to play out emotional and distressing situations. Unlike adults, children don’t tend to express themselves verbally. They rather convey messages and share feelings through play. The Goodbye-box helps them to express thoughts and feelings that arise when someone they love, dies.”

How did it start?

“After the death of my mother my daughter was very upset about her grandmother’s death. The funeral was a very overwhelming experience for her and she did not understand everything that happened. I wanted to support her, but couldn’t find something that helped her express her own thoughts and feelings. We found some books that were lovely, but not representing our story. Therefore, we decided to make something ourselves. I hand painted a set of wooden human figures and miniature objects for my daughter to play out her grandmother’s funeral.

I wanted to create something in soft, friendly colours. Not the usual black that is often associated with funerals. I deliberately chose neutral human figures, with no face and skin colour so children can project their own ideas onto them.”

DAG-Boxes are made-to-order, rather than being purchasable in stores. You can learn more about them here (in the Dutch language).

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