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An Intimate Loneliness: Supporting Bereaved Parents and Siblings (Facing Death) [Paperback]

Gordon Riches , Riches , Pam Dawson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 26.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jan 2000 0335199720 978-0335199723
* What impact does a child's death have on family relationships?
* How might differences in the way mothers and fathers deal with bereavement contribute to increased marital tension?
* Why are bereaved siblings so deeply affected by the way their parents grieve?

An Intimate Loneliness explores how family members attempt to come to terms with the death of an offspring or brother or sister. Drawing on relevant research and the authors' own experience of working with bereaved parents and siblings, this book examines the importance of social relationships in helping parents and siblings adjust to their bereavement. The chances of making sense of this most distressing loss are influenced by the resilience of the family's surviving relationships, by the availability of wider support networks and by the cultural resources that inform each's perception of death. This book considers the impact of bereavement on self and family identity. In particular, it examines the role of shared remembering in transforming survivors' relationships with the deceased, and in helping rebuild their own identity with a significantly changed family structure. Problems considered include: the failure of intimate relationships, cultural and gender expectations, the invisibility of fathers' and siblings' grief, sudden and 'difficult' deaths, lack of information, and the sense of isolation felt by some family members.

This book will be of value to students on courses in counselling, health care, psychology, social policy, pastoral care and education. It will appeal to sociology students with an interest in death, dying and mortality. It is also aimed at professionally qualified counselling, health and social service workers, at informed voluntary group members, the clergy, teachers and others involved with pastoral care.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Open University Press (1 Jan 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0335199720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0335199723
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 709,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Publisher

Community Care / 8 June 2000
"This excellent book discusses how bereaved parents and siblings cope with the death of a child. The authors describe such a tragedy as "one of the most profound challenges to the meaning of life that anyone can face".

They suggest that the ways in which parents and siblings react to such a terrible bereavement show a massive problem of adjustment. The differences between parent grief and sibling grief, coupled with the demands of modern culture, may cause extreme difficulties within the family.

The title was chosen because the authors found that bereaved parents and siblings could feel utterly alone in their sorrow, even when surrounded by other members of the family. They may suffer feelings of unreality and disorientation and be unable to communicate with each other.

In a moving chapter called "What about me?" a review of the recent literature on sibling loss suggests that, due to violent crime, HIV, drugs, suicide and fatal road accidents, there is likely to be an increase in the numbers of bereaved siblings.

Riches and Dawson believe that far more attention should be given to bereaved siblings of all ages, and also to the siblings of children who are suffering life-threatening conditions. The needs of siblings are often overshadowed by the problems of the grieving parents. A much deeper understanding is required about the complex stresses suffered by bereaved siblings if they are to be helped to make some sense of their loss.

Cancer hospitals and hospices which have sibling support groups can often help these grieving siblings to understand relationships in families under stress and realise that their parents' preoccupation with the terminally ill child, or the child who has recently died, does not mean that the other children in the family are unloved.

This fine book breaks new ground in building on our traditional understanding of family grief, to explain bereavement in the special context of modern living. It will be an invaluable aid to all professionals working with grieving families and should be especially recommended to all teachers for the sensitive insight it gives regarding the complex needs of bereaved siblings." - Reviewed in Community Care by Maureen Oswin (writer and researcher)

About the Author

Gordon Riches is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Derby.

Pamela Dawson is Bereavement Services Coordinator for the London Borough of Bromley.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
People experience bereavement differently. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable 29 May 2011
By Jo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm finding this book to portrait such depth and insight into the hearts of those who have suffered the sad loss of a child.. as a counsellor and for those who hope to provide support, an invaluable resource..
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loss of a Child or Sibling 22 Oct 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is so packed with information, don't expect to finish it quickly. The loss that brings you to it may surface as you find yourself in the pages. Based on years of experience with bereaved indiviudals, the book stands alone as a resource for counselors and other professionals who work with the grieving. I particularly liked their exploration of the search for meaning following a loss, and the concept of resilience as being a positive factor to help in resolving loss.
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