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The Bereaved Parent Hardcover – January 21, 1987


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (January 21, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517526816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517526811
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,874,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Highly recommended reading for parents that have recently lost a child.
Why is there no Tranny Tranny on Amazon.com?
This book explains those feelings and lets the reader know they are not crazy or alone, they are very normal, and things will get better.
Barbara J. Chance
When we lost our baby brother in 1999, my sister was given this book to give to our mom.
Connie Borofsky

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Loren D. Morrison on January 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
As has been mentioned in almost every previous review, it's really helpful to realize that "I'm not crazy" when we try to deal with the loss of a child. Mrs. Schiff's book can be just as helpful to our friends and relatives too. It's important that they realize that we're not crazy either. In fact, it should be compulsory reading for anyone who is in any way close to a parent who is trying to go on living after the loss of a child.
First, a litle personal background: In 1980, my 17 year old son lost his life as the result of an automobile accident. Like so many other recently bereaved parents, I wasn't sure that I wanted to go on living, and, until I found a group called "Compassionate Friends" that was made up of other recently bereaved parents who met to share memories and feelings, I didn't think that there was anyone "out there" who had any idea of what I felt. In addition, as Mrs. Schiff states in this book, married couples who are each going through their own feelings of grief, guilt, anger, etc., are absolutely incapable of meeting the needs of their respective spouses, something that an "outsider" cannot fathom, but will be more aware of after reading this book.
To a bereaved parent, almost anything that someone who doesn't share their experience has to offer in the way of sympathy or advice can be thought of as being thoughtless and/or ignorant. Reading this book is one way for a friend to get some idea of how to relate to a bereaved parent and what to say, or more importantly, what not to say.
Mrs Schiff mentions that you shouldn't say anything like "I understand what you're going through." You don't understand what we're going through unless you've been there yourself.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By R. Tiedemann on June 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
When a child dies, the world implodes. The family is cast into a maelstrom of pain from which there seems to be no relief, no hope of ever regaining a sense of normality. At each grieving home, someone should show up the day after the funeral with this book in hand, ready to share.
Schiff writes for everyone, regardless of faith or lack of faith, defining and clarifying the issue of how to deal with this kind of devastating bereavement. She puts the pain in perspective, acknowledging the difficulties it causes in relationship to a variety of subjects: To family and friends, the funeral, guilt, anger, communication, religion, marriage, siblings, pleasure, functioning and the all-important "rest of your life."
About holidays Schiff writes, "A very difficult area of functioning is coming to grips with the knowledge that there is absolutely no way of getting around holidays and vacations. Thanksgiving and Christmas and birthdays will come despite your best efforts to avoid them. And they are horrendous times for many years. Their pain cannot be minimized. But they still must be faced."
As a bereaved parent, Schiff's tender and upbeat treatment of this painful and sensitive subject makes her book a classic and lifts it far above others in the genre. If you read only one book on grieving, make it this one.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read this book after the death of my son in 1983. Ms. Schiff makes all those "crazy" feelings normal and understandable. After the death of my daughter (1992), this book was one of the first I turned to again. I have since read many books on grief and bereavement, general ones and those written specifically for parents. So many facets of the grief work are explained clearly and simply here: the effect on siblings, on relationships, etc. This is the book I recommend first for bereaved parents, and for those who, powerless in observing such pain, want to understand.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
When our son died in 1978, this book was the first thing I read that was an honest portrayal of what it really feels like. I began to understand that the Hell we were living in was the Hell of any parents who were trying (with every ounce of strength) to survive the death of a child. There is nothing that will erase the pain but this book made me understand the necessity of grieving --in my own time and in my own way! It made me realize that my grief (as a mother) was no more or less than my husband's (as a father); but it was VERY different. This book was responsible for helping me realize that perhaps we could keep our marriage and family together and move forward and have happiness. The pain is still part of my life but so is joy. I'm grateful for this book and have shared it (over the years) with others.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ypsi on June 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
This was one of dozens of bereaved-parent and bereavement-in-general books that were given to us after the death of our daughter last winter. This one helped me more in terms of understanding that this is a process, rather than a destination, and helped me with understanding how my husband and I would grieve somewhat differently and how we could keep communication open.
I lent it to a friend, who said it helped her a great deal with understanding what my husband and I were dealing with; it "helped her to help us", in other words.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Without this book as one of my resource tools I don't know how I would have learned to live again after my 17 year old son was killed. This book differs from other grief writings in that it addresses the fact that the loss of a child is so extremely different from other losses. Mrs. Schiff talks about those things that only another bereaved parent would know about - not just in the shock phase of the loss, but for the long haul. Even after 11 years, and especially as I try to help others just starting their grief walk, her words are the first to come to mind. I find myself using this book now as a reference tool for myself and as a gift to a parent who has newly lost their child.
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