THE BEREAVED PARENT by Harriet Sarnoff Schiff


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How to cope with the death of a child--the ""most unnatural of disasters""--is discussed without sententiousness or morbidity. Like Lynn Caine in Widow, Schiff draws on her own experience (Robby, her ten-year-old, died in 1968), indicating the most common reactions and puncturing some commonly held beliefs: e.g., spouses have different rhythms to their grief and can't really comfort each other. At first, she maintains, survival itself seems an affliction: ""The problem we bereaved parents face is that life is going on around us while we frequently think we have become incapable of going on with life."" In each aspect of the aftermath--funeral and burial arrangements, helping siblings, acknowledging grief, allowing oneself pleasure and laughter again--she offers suggestions and her reasons for them, having learned from Robby's death and from other families in similarly unfortunate circumstances. As a guide for those in mourning, this provides consolation and direction in warm, reassuring terms.

Pub Date: March 22nd, 1977
ISBN: 0140050434
Publisher: Crown