RECOVERING FROM THE LOSS OF A CHILD by Katherine Fair Donnelly

RECOVERING FROM THE LOSS OF A CHILD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Even more than most books of the kind, this leans heavily on tragic case histories--and quotes from bereaved parents--to examine the effect of a child's death on husband-wife relationships, on siblings, family friends, parents of newborns, and men in particular (inhibited by society's ""macho"" codes from expressing grief). Yet not only does the proffered advice lack depth or originality, some of it is dubious. Can parents really promise a frightened surviving child that the death of a sibling ""occurred for a specific reason and it will not happen to him, to his parents, or to his other sisters and brothers""? And are almost all friends unwilling or unable to provide support--the (perhaps unintentional) impression created here? For further confusion, Donnelly introduces and re-introduces the same families and situations--to the extent that the same letter appears in two places. The sheer repetition does set up some themes: the need to deal with anger at God; the difference between one person's ""timetable"" for recovery and another's; the extent to which joining a support group can alleviate suffering. The most helpful aspect of the book, in fact, may be the careful descriptions of nine such organizations, complete with a state-by-state listing of chapters. But by and large, those seeking more substance than anecdote should stick with Harriet Sarnoff Schiff's The Bereaved Parent (1977).

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1982
ISBN: 0595140386
Publisher: Macmillan