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When Parents Die: A Guide for Adults Paperback – March 1, 1997


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When Parents Die: A Guide for Adults + The Orphaned Adult: Understanding And Coping With Grief And Change After The Death Of Our Parents + Grieving the Death of a Mother
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 235 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (March 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140262318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140262315
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A practical guide for coping with the loss of a parent, this book was written by a journalist who has lost both. Edward Myers makes it clear that no matter how old we are, the death of a parent can be devastating, evoking intense and complex feelings that have long-lasting implications. Comprised of advice from therapists, practices for self-help groups and first-person accounts, Myers covers the grieving process and differentiates between the impact of sudden death and slow decline. He also offers advice for funeral planning, dividing personal property and resolving feelings such as guilt, shame and isolation. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

"One of the situations you face in grieving for a parent is the likelihood that some people will treat it as a non-event"; well-meaning friends will commonly "ask `how's your mother taking it?' but nothing about how you feel" writes Myers, a free-lance journalist who has experienced the death of both parents as an adult. Relying primarily on interviews and questionnaires, the author covers the grieving process, the difference in impact of sudden death versus slow decline, and some of the practical and emotional issues involved in planning the funeral, dividing personal property, and resolving residual feelings. Although not comprehensive, this book is recommended as a resource for further reading and/or for guidance from social service agencies and as a validation of grief upon losing one's parentsat any age. Suzanne Druehl, Little Rock P.L., Ark .
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

So far, I have found this book very helpul.
Linda Rodgers
I found this book very helpful, and found many similarities to my experience within after the recent death of my mother.
Leanna Case
It is very sensitively written and well written from an educated perspective.
MK

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

178 of 178 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
I first came across this book nearly 10 years ago when my 70-year-old father passed away. He had been ill for some time so his passing was expected, and in some ways seemed to be such a relief. No one who loved him wanted to see him suffer any longer and his suffering certainly took its toll on my dear sweet mother; yet, in the weeks following his passing I found myself completely unprepared to experience the grief that followed. I thought I was having a nervous breakdown until I read Myers book. The book literally rescued me from the depths of grief and helped me to move forward with my life. Since then, I have bought perhaps a dozen copies of the book for friends who have lost their parents and they, too, have told me how helpful they have found the book to be. Last October my dear sweet mother passed away and reading the book again has spared me from the agony of grief that I experienced with the loss of my father. By understanding and being so much more prepared for the loss of my mother, I found myself much more able to cherish her life rather than be emotionally devistated by grieving her loss. Sadly, I am purchasing another copy of the book to give to a dear friend who lost her father two days ago.
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55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
I lost my mother over a year ago, and it really wasn't until a few months ago that I finally realized that I needed to find some help for myself to realize what I was going through was natural for me. Over the past two months I have purchased at least a half a dozen books on the subject of bereavement and this book by far was able to pinpoint my feelings and emotions to a tee. From the guilt that I was feeling over things that were said before she died, to the grief that I am feeling now. This was the first book that I truly felt like I found some of my answers lying in the pages. I didn't walk away from this book feeling worse than when I started, it was actually a healing presence for me, knowing that what I was feeling was natural and that life does goes on but in a totally different light. This book may not be for everyone, but for me it was my saving grace!
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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
I read this book when my father died. I was 21 and couldn't relate to most of the books out there, since they seemed to be geared either toward children or toward middle-aged people who'd lost an elderly parent. I was very grateful that this book addressed adult readers of all different ages, including mine. Myers recognizes the different things people are likely going through at different points in their lives. It was comforting to me just to realize that grieving was a normal, natural process and that, even though I felt at an awkward age to be experiencing this type of loss, I wasn't alone.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Beth B on November 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
My beloved mother recently died and this book was recommended to me by the hospice counselors. I only wish I had known about it in the months prior to Mom's death. If you have a parent who is suffering a potentially long illness, especially with increasingly extensive care and nursing needs, buy this book NOW -- don't wait! It offers many helpful resources on the practical side as well as offering comfort and understanding. As the author says, "There is perhaps no greater source of needless frustration during a family crisis than the belief that you are dealing with it entirely alone. Even the most competent adult can be worn down..." He then proceeds to provide resources in the Appendix, including organizations and resources to find "Information on Death and Dying", "Information on Aging and Care of the Aging" (including the organization called Children of Aging Parents...which I wish I had known about earlier), "Information About Health Issues", "Information on Alcohol and Drug Abuse", "Information on Hospice Care", "Information on Funeral and Memorial Societies", "Information on Living Wills and Organ Donation", "Information on Suicide Prevention and Counseling", "Information on Widowhood", "Information on Assistance for Women", among other topics. If it's too late for that, you will also find this book helpful as it presents compassionate advice for coping with the emotional and practical aspects of losing a parent. Everyone's story and emotional handling of this life-changing event is unique, but you will inevitably find yourself in some of the examples that the author uses. In a time like this, it's comforting to know you're not alone and it is possible to cope. Another book with a different approach, but which is also comforting is "How to Survive the Loss of a Parent" by Lois F. Akner, CSW.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Clea Simon on August 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this important work while researching my own "Fatherless Women: How We Change After We Lose Our Dads" (Wiley) and found it validating and encouraging of both my emotions and the primary research I'd done, interviewing other women like myself. In a readable, jargon-free style, Myers talks honestly about the broad spectrum of emotions that follow the death of a parent, from despair to guilt, anger to relief. Very honest, very freeing -- and now a staple of my library.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By MK on May 6, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My mother recently died in a tragic accident. This is by far the best book I have read on this subject. The other books were filled with personal anecdotes and even suggestions for using a medium to contact the dead and appropriate aromatherapy. I just wanted something to help me understand the various feelings of everyone around this and more importantly, some resources not for me, but my poor brokenhearted dad. The author talks about death and the reactions of everyone in a much more scientific fashion than saying "my friend Joe had this happen..."

I found it really interesting how he could show very specific things that can affect how much and how you grieve. The list of resources at the end of the book is fantastic. It is very sensitively written and well written from an educated perspective. The personal anecdotes that are included are very relevant and support some of the theories presented. After reading quite a few books from Amazon ("I wasn't ready to say goodbye" and "grieving the death of a mother" are a few) this is by far the best one and the one I was looking for to help me through this confusing time.
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