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The death of an adult child : a book for and about bereaved parents

Author: Jeanne Webster Blank
Publisher: London : Routledge, 2017.
Series: Death, value, and meaning series.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats

Written to be a comfort and guide for bereaved parents whose adult child has died, this work shows that by sharing our experiences we are not alone in our responses to our child's death; that we are  Read more...


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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Jeanne Webster Blank
ISBN: 9781351863469 1351863460
OCLC Number: 962303299
Notes: Includes index.
Description: 1 online resource.
Contents: IntroductionChapter 1 When Joey Died A story about the author's ancestors whose loss of a daughter was followed by the death of her mother. Introduces the reader to the main theme: many parents of adult children who died share similar complex patterns of grief across the generations.Chapter 2 Four Phases of Grief Steps we go through as we come to terms and try to cope with our tragedy. Although bereaved parents of young children share many of the same responses, those whose child was an adult at the time of death face many hidden problems or pitfalls not encountered by parents whose child died young.Chapter 3 The Condolence Call Well-meaning friends, relatives, clergy, and other caregivers often give us bad advice and complicate our grief. Parental grief requires a longer time to work through than other forms of grief. Attempts to "fix it" right away are counterproductive.Chapter 4 Fair-Weather Friends Some non-grievers remove themselves from contact with bereaved parents because of the subconscious terror that their children, too, may die. Others may find bereaved parents too emotionally needy to be around, causing the "consolers" to desert their former friends.Chapter 5 Crying at the Supermarket Trying to resume simple daily activities after the child's death is fraught with difficulties as bereaved parents process the fact of their child's death.Chapter 6 Why? Philosophical and religious upheavals often follow the child's death, forcing the parents to look closely at their belief structure.Chapter 7 Theme and Variations As parents, we are supposed to keep our children alive. If the children die, the parents have failed in this most fundamental of all parental duties. They often subject themselves to bouts of irrational guilt.Chapter 8 Whither Thou Goest This chapter deals with a strange and almost overwhelming urge the parent has to join the child in death, which may prompt a parent to commit suicide, to withdraw from friends and family, or to neglect to care for him or herself promptly.Chapter 9 On The Road to Damascus The death of a child forces a complete reordering of priorities for bereaved parents, not only in day-to-day activities, but also in the things that formerly had meaning in our lives.Chapter 10 Gender and Grief A discussion of the sexual and other problems of bereaved parents who are married to each other and living together, many occasioned by the differing grief styles of males and females. Many anonymous examples from the questionnaire are used here.Chapter 11 The Search A common, but little understood phenomenon after the death of our child, is the constant search for him or her among the living, irrational though it may be. Attempts to fill the void brought about by the death sometimes bring about destructive choices: adoption when parenting skills are non-existent, resort to drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity.Chapter 12 Conflicting Agendas Because some other survivors besides the bereaved parents are also adults, their needs may be in conflict with those of the parents. The latter need desperately to remember the dead; the younger survivors may need to forget in order to get on with their lives.Chapter 13 Birthdays and Death Anniversaries These special days belong exclusively to the dead child, thus focusing and heightening the grief and pain of the parents when the dates come around every year. The importance of planning in advance for these days is emphasized.Chapter 14 Happy Holidays Holidays often tend to focus on the family, and when the family is no longer intact, due to the death of an adult child, the holidays bring general sadness, the possibility of suicide or conflict with other survivors.Chapter 15 Your Health During Bereavement Stress-related illness and depression are common among bereaved parents. Because the symptoms may not show up right away, the connection with bereavement may not be apparent. Examples of illness reactions of the respondents appear in this chapter.Chapter 16 Seeking Justice A need to plead for the rights of our child if he or she died as a result of someone's error or culpability brings us into contact with the justice system. Examples of those whose child's death involved the military, the medical, or justice systems, show that most of the grieving parents were not well served in their time of need.Chapter 17 I'll Never Forget You Early fears that you will forget your child may make you cling to your grief. Memorializing our dead children is discussed, as are reports of those who feel they have been contacted by their dead child after death.Chapter 18 A Summing Up: Special Problems of Parents Whose Adult Children Died This chapter pulls together, reiterates, and elaborates on the peculiar problems faced by those whose child was an adult at the time of his or her death.Appendix I: Questionnaire -A copy of the questionnaire that was sent outAppendix II-Preceded by a short introduction, responses from some of those who answered the questionnaire appear largely in their own words
Series Title: Death, value, and meaning series.
Responsibility: Jeanne Webster Blank.


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