After the Death of a Child: Living With Loss Through the Years

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Johns Hopkins University Press, May 18, 1998 - Family & Relationships - 288 pages
2 Reviews
After a child dies, the parent's world changes entirely. Years later, this new world has changed the parents. The exact nature of this change-the long-term effects of the death-illuminates the nature of the bond between parents and children. Ann Finkbeiner lost her son in a train accident when he was 18. Several years later, she noticed she was feeling better and wondered whether this feeling was what was meant by "recovery." As a science writer, she read the psychological, sociological, and psychiatric research into parental bereavement. And as a bereaved parent, she asked hard questions of thirty parents whose child had died at least five years before, of all causes and at all ages. In this book, Finkbeiner combines the research and the parents' answers into a description of the parents' new lives. The parents talk about their changed marriages and their changed relationships with their other children, with their friends and relatives. They talk about their attempts to make sense of the death and about their drastically changed priorities. And most important, they talk about how they still love their children, how the child seems to see through their eyes and live through their actions. They move on through their grief, they get on with their lives, but they never let go of their children. Their wisdom is here presented to any in need of it. "This book is just excellent. Ann Finkbeiner has found a way to investigate her own grief and perhaps find some resolution to this difficult task of grieving. Thousands of bereaved parents and professionals will benefit from her work."-Therese Goodrich, former executive director of The Compassionate Friends, member of Bereaved Parents of USA "The book is beautifully written and deeply felt... It can be of value for bereaved parents who can by helped by it to understand their pain and sorrow and to understand the different ways fathers and mothers grieve. It should be required reading for professionals who would help bereaved parents and who would understand how deeply invested are parents in their children."-Robert S. Weiss, University of Massachusetts, Boston "By focusing on the long-term impact of losing a child, Ann Finkbeiner has raised issues and concerns that are rarely addressed. Her book is thought-provoking, deeply moving, and filled with insight and hope. I recommend it enthusiastically to parents and professionals."-Camille Wortman, State University of New York at Stony Brook

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Review: After the Death of a Child: Living with Loss through the Years

User Review  - Susan Averitt - Goodreads

This book helped our grief support group by giving us perspective and discussion material. It's really good for people in their grief journey especially after several years. Read full review

Review: After the Death of a Child: Living with Loss through the Years

User Review  - Judith van Praag - Goodreads

This is one of the books that brought solace during period of grief and mourning after my baby had died at birth in 1993 and the following four miscarriages. There's nothing like recognition of what you've gone through/ are going through yourself... Read full review



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About the author (1998)


Ann K. Finkbeiner is an award-winning science journalist and regular contributor to Science, The Sciences, and USA Today and coauthor of The Guide to Living with HIV Infection, also available from Johns Hopkins.