When children lose someone they love, they lose part of their very identity. Life, as they knew it, will never be quite the same. The world that once felt dependable and safe may suddenly seem a frightening, uncertain place, where nobody understands what they're feeling.
In this deeply sympathetic book, Phyllis R. Silverman and Madelyn Kelly offer wise guidance on virtually every aspect of childhood loss, from living with someone who's dying to preparing the funeral; from explaining death to a two year old to managing the moods of a grieving teenager; from dealing with people who don't understand to learning how and where to get help from friends, therapists, and bereavement groups; from developing a new sense of self to continuing a relationship with the person who died. Throughout, the authors advocate an open, honest approach, suggesting that our instinctive desire to "protect" children from the reality of death may be more harmful than helpful. "Children want you to acknowledge what is happening, to help them understand it," the authors suggest. "In this way, they learn to trust their own ability to make sense out of what they see." Drawing on groundbreaking research into what bereaved children are really experiencing, and quoting real conversations with parents and children who have walked that road, the book allows readers to see what others have learned from mourning and surviving the death of a loved one. In a culture where grief is so often invisible and misunderstood, the wisdom derived from such first-hand experience is invaluable.
Filled with compassion and common sense, A Parent's Guide to Raising Grieving Children: Rebuilding Your Family after the Loss of a Loved One
offers readers a wealth of solace and sound advice, and even--where one might least expect it--a measure of hope.