When Your Child Dies


Tools for Mending Parents’ Broken Hearts
Author: Avril Nagel, Randie Clark

The death of your child is devastating. No parent feels that he or she should outlive his or her child. However, the sad fact is that every minute around the world, some 15 children die according to the WHO. The psychological and emotional impact following sudden and traumatic death can inhibit parents’ grief and, without appropriate treatment, develop into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

When Your Child Dies provides grief-stricken parents with the tools to navigate the grieving process and addresses the challenges of the intrusion of the media, the justice system, medical system and coroners. Grieving parents will learn how to reduce anxiety and depression and promote healthy self-soothing, identify and address issues that linger and cause emotional pain following the child’s death and incorporate their loss into their lives in healthy ways. There are suggestions for talking with surviving children, how to handle the impact on family and social relationships, how to foster a continued loving relationship with the dead child’s memory, as well as a comprehensive list of resources and reading for ongoing support.

In addition to professional backgrounds, Nagel and Clark have both experienced the traumatic loss of a child and speak with compassion, parent-to-parent.

Introduction p. xi
When Trauma and Grief Combine p. 1
A Dictionary of Emotions for the Grieving Parent p. 15
Exploring the Cause of Your Child’s Death p. 37
Taking Your Child Off Life Support p. 65
Seeing Your Child’s Body p. 73
Handling End-of-Life Rituals p. 85
Dealing with the Criminal Justice System and the Media p. 99
Surviving with Your Partner p. 117
Healing the Family System p. 135
Managing Social Relationships p. 157
Experiencing Identity Loss and a Shattered Worldview p. 171
Facing Spiritual Emergencies p. 181
Tools for Healing p. 195
Creating Personal Rituals and Memorials p. 215
Conclusion: The Path Ahead p. 221
Appendix: Support Groups, Organizations and Web Sites p. 229
Bibliography p. 235
Acknowledgements p. 243
Index p. 245
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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