Preparing Your Children for Goodbye: A Guidebook for Dying Parents

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Lori Hedderman, Feb 15, 2011 - Self-Help - 99 pages
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Preparing Your Children For Goodbye is a supportive guidebook for parents who are terminally ill. This book is divided into three parts: -End-of-life issues to consider -How children cope with death -A Life Review workbook The book will help you plan for your own end-of-life care, prepare your children for your death, and record memories of your life. The book includes a Bibliography and a list of "Places to Turn To for Help." Your most important role as a parent is raising your child. All along, you are attempting to impart into them your values, as well as teach them the skills that they will need to be successful as they grow into adulthood. No parent expects to leave a child to journey through life without his or her direct guidance. As that day approaches, and you begin to accept that you will not have the time that you thought you would, the pressure mounts to prepare your child for the future. The process of looking back over your life and thinking about what has mattered most to you is a natural part of facing death. There is a formal discipline called "Life Review" in which people are encouraged to discuss and write down aspects of their past. This Life Review workbook is specifically designed for use by parents of children and teenagers. It includes questions to help you consider issues relating to your children, as well as more general questions that will trigger memories about other parts of your life. This Life Review process can be used by anyone who is interested in thinking about their own past, even if they do not have children. You can use the workbook on your own or with someone else. It's a nice activity for two people to do together using a conversational approach. An adult child could use the conversational method with an elderly parent. It can be an enjoyable way to reminisce about the past and capture memories. This type of conversational approach can be helpful as a tool to use with older people who are having memory problems. The workbook can be used in hospice settings by hospice volunteers to use with patients who want to reflect on their lives. If someone is too sick to take on a major writing project, the volunteer can ask questions from the workbook to help the person recall anything that they want to have remembered. A volunteer could also work with family members to explain life review ideas and introduce the workbook as something they can use on their own. Any parent who wants to record family history can also use this book. Perhaps you have a high-risk profession in an area such as law enforcement, firefighting, or serve in the military and are concerned about the future. Who hasn't thought, "What if?"

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Children and How They Grieve
Leaving Your Legacy Through Life Review
Placesto Turn to for Help

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About the author (2011)

Lori A. Hedderman, M.Ed., N.C.C., L.P.C., is a certified school counselor who works with children and their families in the public school system. Her work brings her into contact with many students who are losing a parent or loved one due to illness. She conducts bereavement groups and counsels individuals who have experienced losses. She also facilitates a support group for children whose parents have cancer or other serious illnesses. She is trained in both crisis intervention and disaster mental health and responds to traumatic events in her role as a crisis team member for her school. As a former American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Team Member, she was deployed to Mississippi during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, where she worked to console and to assist hundreds of victims who were grieving the loss of loved ones. She resides in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband, Tony, and her son, Connor.

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