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What Forever Means After the Death of a Child: Transcending the Trauma, Living with the Loss Paperback – April 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-1583910801 ISBN-10: 1583910808 Edition: 1st

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Frequently Bought Together

What Forever Means After the Death of a Child: Transcending the Trauma, Living with the Loss + When The Bough Breaks:  Forever After the Death of a Son or Daughter + The Worst Loss: How Families Heal from the Death of a Child
Price for all three: $66.24

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Product Details

  • Series: Series in Trauma and Loss
  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583910808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583910801
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,164,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"What Forever Means After the Death of a Child will become a classic because Dr. Talbot combines all of the vital elements of a vital resource for helping... [T]he few good studies of parental survivorship are explained and applied in ways that provide concrete direction to helpers and to the parents themselves." -- Charles R. Figley, Ph.D., Series Editor and Director, Florida State University Traumatology Institute

About the Author

Kay Talbot is a psychotherapist working with individuals, families, and groups experiencing life transitions. Her groundbreaking research on the death of an only child has been published in leading journals.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By L. A. Schroeder on April 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
Since the death of my 17 year old son Mark, I have devoured every book about the after-life and living with grief that I could lay my hands on. I found Dr Kay Talbot's research findings really valuable to work through. Grieving parents frequently get counselling and advice from either their religious leaders or psychologists. Both tend to be orientated towards acceptance and closure in the long term.

For a parent who is stumbling through grief it is extremely unfair to expect them to accept their child's death as `God's will' and to tell them that they need to start `moving on', `getting closure' and other equally nonsensical ideas. This makes the grieving parent feel guilty and a failure when they can't heal as quickly as others expect them to and it's very unkind.

Many models of grief therapy are damaging to the healing of a parent who has lost a child. For instance, the Gestalt approach is orientated towards integrating loss into our self-identity and finding a way to re-invest in a future without our precious child. While this is positive, the end goal of Gestalt therapy is closure, being able to say `goodbye'.

What these therapists don't appreciate is that the death of a child is the most catastrophic life event that can befall a person. I have lost a mother and two very close friends whom I loved dearly. But I was able to say goodbye and move on, keeping memories of them in my heart and from time to time I think fondly or regretfully of them. These deaths did not disrupt my life for more than a fortnight. My self-identity was not ripped apart and I could function despite my sadness.

I have lived with a broken heart for nearly 4 years now.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By L. Locker on May 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In one instant what forever means disappears. It's not just the grand future plan of weddigs, weekends at the beach, shopping for grandkids, arguing about politics - but also late night phone calls, shared jokes or cartoons, emails. In one instant Full stop. no slow down, no warning. full stop. You see a shirt she'd like. full stop. Oh, there are a bunch of her friends having lunch and laughing, how dare they! full stop. You turn the corner of the grocery store and see her hair swinging and start to yell to her. full stop. So many of our brain directions send us to our child, and every time we hit a wall it hurts...again, and again, and again. Then again, who wants to quit making those journeys, expecting those calls, letting litle bits of them go until the memories are gone. It's a delicate and painful life we lead.

This book helped immensely. It wasn't "just" academic or "just" stories, but melded the two in a really helpful way; knowing that there isn't one RIGHT way to do live on and trying to accept that forever is forever changed, but that doesn't have to be the end of memory and even joy and laughter at times. It's still hard, this helps a little.

The only other really good book I used was A Grief Observed by CS Lewis. It just spoke to me for some reason.

Blessings and prayers to all who have the misfortune to need this book.
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