A Child's Grief: Surviving the Death of a Parent
by Judy Strong
Beaver's Pond Press

"When a child looses a parent a hero is fallen. A champion is gone."

Strong's handbook on grief has a lot to offer both in the area of the quality of the information presented, as well as in real-life examples. A Child's Grief: Surviving the Death of a Parent is chock-full of useful data about what to do when a child looses a parent—a topic which is rather difficult to discuss in most families as well as in public schools.

The author stresses the idea of preparing for the event of loss before it occurs so that the child is fully ready in case this happens. In most families, Strong says, care and explanations tend to follow after the traumatic event of the death of a parent, and oftentimes, she states, children are mentally unprepared. Confusion and possible bad behaviors may result in a child that is not fully grasping the event of death.

The author highlights an example from her own life when her and her children coped with the death of their father and her husband. She also gives examples of other families that lived through a similar disaster. Throughout the book, helpful sidebars hold quick tidbits of information for the parents, about how to help a child or a teenager through the grieving process and how to recognize the warning signs in a child if they are confused, hurt, or angry.

A calm environment in which the child feels safe, a sympathetic ear of the remaining parent, or a grandparent are, among other things, important factors for the child to begin a full recovery and gain an understanding of what has occurred in order to be a well-adjusted adult later on. The author also stresses the importance of bereavement groups and educating the public about this often-neglected issue in public schools.

Strong's book is an indispensable resource for anyone who would like to know how to help a grieving child or a teenager cope with loss.

Return to USR Home