A very slight addition to the Kubler-Ross canon--more fragmentary and diffuse than Living with Death and Dying (1981), and...
ON CHILDREN AND DEATH
by ‧RELEASE DATE: Oct. 21, 1983
A very slight addition to the Kubler-Ross canon--more fragmentary and diffuse than Living with Death and Dying (1981), and therefore of less direct use in helping dying children cope with death. ""All children know (not consciously, but intuitively) about the outcome of their illness."" Kubler-Ross cautions against ""a false 'cheerful' smile,"" and against making healthy siblings feel guilty. Most especially, she warns against overindulging ""the little patient."" ""You only leave him with guilt and a negative feeling about his true worth."" And the outcome, as she illustrates, is ""disastrous"" for siblings. She talks of the final, family leave-taking; believes parents should help prepare the body for burial, if they wish; feels strongly that siblings should attend the funeral, unless they demur. Concluding this first, most cohesive section: ""Don't make a shrine out of your child's bedroom. But don't hide the photographs and reminders either."" (She has already advised against moving.) Then, there are stories of parents who lost infants with no chance to mourn and no one to console them. (""It takes only one human being who cares!"") There are reflections on, and tales of, sudden death--where ""the parents found 'evidence' that their little daughter had prepared things to leave behind, as little messages of love."" There is talk of head injuries, and artificial prolongation of life; there is brief attention to childhood suicide. There are accounts of alternative, holistic treatments. There are poems by dying children and bereaved parents. For those touched before by Kubler-Ross' concerns--and not hostile to her newer leanings.