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Never the Same: Coming to Terms with the Death of a Parent Hardcover – March 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Time does not heal all wounds, warns grief counselor Donna Schuurman in her brave and practical book about the challenges adults face in coming to terms with the loss of a parent before age 18. Her premise in Never the Same defies the common wisdom. "Forget the stages of grief. There is no magical moment when you can say, it’s over." Using thoughtful self-assessments and examples, Schuurman persuades readers that grief must be reprocessed at every stage of life. First, she invites readers to look backward, examining their reactions and coping strategies at the time of their parent’s death. Moving into the present, she asks, what meaning do your make of your parent’s death as an adult? Schuurman details the high cost of unresolved grieving, including depression, anxiety, pessimism, underachievement, and troubled relationships. She then outlines suggestions for dealing with the legacy of a parent’s death and choosing healthy traditions for remembering. Adults and parents will find this a wise and compassionate book—-an indispensable guide to the unfinished business of losing a parent at an early age. --Barbara Mackoff

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"A remarkably jargon-free book that is filled with practical advice and worksheets." - Seattle Post-Intelligencer


"A remarkably jargon-free book that is filled with practical advice and worksheets." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (March 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312262108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312262105
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,869,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Just some lady on the internet... on July 7, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book sounded like a good one...I loved the title and hoped for more than I found inside. The author keeps teasing, "If you went through the death of your parent, read on for practical help!" Chapter after chapter is filled with this entreaty. It gets annoying to read this plea in every chapter! Finally, the very last chapter in the book consists of 10 suggestions for moving on from the death of a parent. They are very simplistic and not worth reading the entire book to get.

I lost my mother when I was 10, and it is something I will never truly recover from. It has shaped my life from that time forward, and made me who I am. I read a lot of books about people who lose a parent in their childhood, just to see what other people have gone through. My dad was not a very interactive parent either, so I consider myself an orphan in some ways. I think there are better books about healing from the loss of a parent.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Danny Mize on April 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I avoided the television Sunday evening and sat down with a book. I spent my time well! I chose Donna Schuurman's new book, Never The Same - Coming To Terms With The Death Of A Parent (from St. Martin's Press, New York, 2003).
Adults who have experienced the death of a parent during childhood must read Never The Same. Family members, friends, and support professionals who wish to better understand the impact that parental loss has on children throughout their life should also read Donna's book. This book blends scholarly and anecdotal research with the compassionate exploration of some of the roots of thoughts and feelings experienced by adults who mourn the death of a parent during their early years.
Schuurman offers more than a simple list of "here's how you may be affected by the parental death in your past." While reading Donna's book, I felt the two of us were sitting down in a one-on-one relationship, with Donna exploring, coaching, and guiding me along the path of grief.
Never The Same reads like a storybook, a textbook, a workbook, and a guidebook -- all in one. The dust cover of the book contains this statement: Although we can't relive childhood, we can choose to live healthier, fuller lives. From opportunities for introspection to the practical suggestions for dealing with childhood loss, Donna Schuurman's book provides tools for healing and moves the reader toward a healthier, fuller life!
Danny Mize
Executive Director of The Kids' Place support group center for grieving families in central Oklahoma
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Vicki A. Braun on March 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Those who work with grieving children, live with grieving children or who ARE grieving children within grown-up bodies will benefit from this book. Schuurman has evaluated much, if not all of the research, available on the impact of early parental loss. She condenses academic theory so it can be used easily by anyone working in this field. Of particular help is HER interpretation and explanation of how grieving stage theory is typically misused when working with REAL PEOPLE. For those of us who experienced parental loss before age 19, her approach is conversational and warm but direct. The questionaires are particularly thought AND feeling provoking.
Vicki Braun
Executive Director, The Oak Tree Corner Program for Grieving Children DAYTON OH
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Carol Berns. Psy.D. Director, Children's Bereavement Center on April 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Never The Same is a book that weaves a straight talking, light-hearted tone with accurate academic information. My father died when I was eleven and through my subsequent studies, I can see the relevancy of its contents.
Dr. Schuurman uses her experience and anecdotes from children and families at the Dougy Center to aid the reader in understanding the bereavement issues discussed.
I have shared this book with adults who attend our Center. Overwhelmingly they agree that reading Never the Same sheds light on their childhood history and provides insight into the current (and possibly future) experiences of their bereaved children.
One of the best things Shuurman has done is to include questionnaires triggering memories that provide insights. This book is easy to read and written with a hopeful tone.
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Format: Hardcover
If you, or anyone you know, had a parent die in childhood, drop everything and read this book. Dr. Schuurman's wisdom, humor, and conventional style engages the reader with thought-provoking insight and practical suggestions. This is not 'just another' self-help book: it could, quite literally, change lives.
Never the Same gives information for adults about their experiences with a parent's death during childhood that clarifies, for many, the issues carried into adulthood. Specifically this book addresses intrapersonal and interpersonal issues stemming from the death of a parent.
Reading this book not only gives hope for those investigating the impact of a parent's death but also gives specific recommendations about what can be done now in an adult's life.
Those to whom I've recommended this book have joyously thanked me for giving them an easy to read personal inventory. Dr. Schuurman has intersperced Never the Same with activities and inventories designed to integrate the past with the present.
It is the first book of its kind that I've seen. Buy it now and you won't be disappointed.
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