Journals Higher Education
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Published: 27 January 2000

288 Pages | 1 line illus

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195105919

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Bookseller Code (06)

Healing Children's Grief

Surviving a Parent's Death from Cancer

Grace Hyslop Christ

In Healing Children's Grief relates the powerfully moving stories of eighty eight families and their 157 three to seventeen year old children who particpated in a parent-guidance intervention through the terminal illness and death of one of the parents from cancer. The majority of the children successfully reconstituted their lives during the subsequent 8-14 months. Although recent studies of bereaved children have yielded important findings, they have not provided knowledge of how children's development affects their responses either before the death when it can be anticipated, through the dying experience, or in the later period in which families try to adapt to the new circumstances. Using qualitative analytic methods, this book identifies five developmentally derived age groups that clarify important differences in the children's grief and mourning processes, in their understanding of events, their interactions with families, and their varying needs for help and support. The full complexity of the interpersonal situation when terminal illness descents is graphically portrayed. The author gives numerous examples of the ways parents and extended family interacted with the children, but also the way professionals, friends, and many others helped families deal with this tragedy.
Recommendations specifc for each of the five age categories provide practical guidance and direction for professionals and physicians, nurses, social workers, therapists, guidance counselors, and teachers as well as for families undergoing similar experiences and for the friends and neighbors whose informed help is invaluable.

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