The mourning of a parent's death can take many years--for some it may take a lifetime. The first year of separation, however, is often the most difficult and heart wrenching. The first birthday, holiday, spring, summer, autumn, and winter spent without the loved one often revives or increases the pain. This unique guide is organized according to a timeline of a child's first year of mourning the loss of a parent. It is a warm, insightful, yet practical guide to help the families and community members surrounding a child who has suffered such a loss to anticipate and cope with the many difficulties that arise. Practical suggestions for providing comfort, information, and advice are provided for adults struggling to help children endure the trauma. A range of difficult situations that bereaved children encounter are identified, helping to prepare adults for a child's potential reactions and providing them with realistic coping strategies.
Lewis and Lippman, child psychologists who have provided therapy to children who have lost a parent, suggest answers to questions that these children frequently ask. They offer methods for dealing with particularly difficult times such as birthdays, and share practical advice for everyday situations and events. They begin with helping the child through anticipation of death, if it is expected, or through the initial shock of unexpected death. Poignant vignettes from the therapists' experience dealing with young and older children are included.