Many screamed when they were told. Some found it hard to believe. (Says Gardner, 16, ""I just couldn't realize her death until a few days later when I saw her dead in an open casket."") Many worry that the surviving parent might die. (""There's no one after you,"" says Gardner, urging his Dad to quit smoking. Says Jack, eight, whose ailing father shot himself, ""I worry that [his mother's] kidney stones are going to get worse and worse, and the next thing you know--pop! There she goes too."") None complains when the surviving parent remarries, and several report liking or loving the new step-parent. Several talk of how their friends reacted and say they just want to be treated ""the same way as before."" Nick, 15, admits to ""a strange sort of pride . . . that everyone was looking at me"" at the funeral. ""Do you think Mom knows she's ruined our lives?"" Nick asked his father, ""really mad at Mom"" for being hit by a taxi. Now he reports complacently, ""I survived the loss and it's made me a stronger person."" There's a similarity of tone to all these accounts--perhaps it's the format--but the kids' individual reactions register nonetheless, as do their common pain and sense of loss. Others in the same situation may find comfort in their company and assurance that one does survive, stronger or not; kids who haven't lost a parent may be drawn to musing on the subject.