Distributor:  The Fanlight Collection
Length:  26 minutes
Date:  2000
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: College/Adult/Prof/K-12
Color/BW:  Color
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How I Coped When Mommy Died

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13-year-old Brett Hardy Blake presents how he dealt with the loss of his mother to breast cancer.

How I Coped When Mommy Died

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.

'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


** Broadcast on public television
** American Psychological Association
** Western Psychological Association
** National Social Science Association
** Fledgling Film Festival


Main credits

Blake, Brett Hardy (filmmaker)
Blake, Brett Hardy (film producer)
Blake, Brett Hardy (presenter)
Hope, Lori (film producer)
Hope, Lori (film director)

Other credits

Edited by Eleanor Tydings Gollob; camera, Lori Hope [and 5 others]; studio camera, Greg King; original music, Nasús; chief consultant, Rabbi Earl Grollman.

Distributor credits

Brett Hardy Blake and Lori Hope

Brett Hardy Blake and Lori Hope

Docuseek2 subjects

Grief and Recovery
Death and Dying

Distributor subjects

Death and Dying
Family Relations
Fanlight Collection
Grief and Recovery
High School Use
Psychology, Psychiatry, Social Work


film; video; documentary; grief; grieving; coping; adolescent; teen; teenager; breast cancer; grieving ; grief; loss; recovery; bereavement; coping; death; dying; end-of-life care; end of life; terminal illness; coping with childhood grief; losing a parent; loss of a mother; orphan; orphaned; ; "How I Coped When Mommy Died"; The Fanlight Collection

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