This book is a must-have for parents. No matter how careful we are, stuff does happen that cannot stop. The good news is that you can do something to help after a loss. This book not only deals with death (relatives and pets) but also with divorce, another tough subject, and relocation (moving). The latter is too often forgotten about, or minimized, and/or accompanied with empty promises. I cannot thank the authors enough for pointing that out. I had to move to a foreign country myself when I was 15, and I cannot tell you how many times I heard "You'll make new friends" and so on. I do wish ppl stop making that promise in particular especially when it does not depend on them. Yes, you want to reassure your apprehensive children, I get that. However, as a mother, how can I be so sure that my DD would make "loads of new friends" in a new school, which I don't even attend with her? That is a major factor for loss of trust and this book talks a lot about trust, which I applaud. The part about divorce also touched me, having divorced parents myself. I would recommend to read this book before a loss occurs, to be prepared, because most of us have not been taught how to properly deal with grief. I heard about this book through Janet Lansbury's blog and bought it, but my DD has not just experienced a loss. However, I have a dog, which I know will not be alive at her 18th b-day, and I am fully aware that more crap might happen before then. You just never know.
If you are familiar with the Grief Recovery Handbook by the same authors then you will be familiar with the principles covered in this book. Aimed at helping adults talk to children constructively and helpfully about loss, the language is simple to understand but the actions highly effective. After I experienced a massive loss I found the Grief Recovery Handbook life changing. So much so that I trained with Russell Friedman one of the authors and am now a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist running workshops based on both books. It is incredible how many adults while accepting many of the concepts for themselves suddenly feel the need to treat children differently. However, while we may use different language the rules are the same - be honest about your feelings and don't confuse children with euphemisms such as "Grandad has gone to sleep" as they may become frightened to go to sleep or to see you sleep. The book is practical and not overly American in it's style. Whether the loss your child or the child in your care is the death of a family member or pet, divorce of the parents or changing school this book will be of value to you. Equally if not more importantly it is useful to help you prepare for losses they haven't yet faced - for example the loss of a Grandparent.
I bought this book since I work with younger children in preschool ,and felt a need for tools to help when especially divorce come upon them.The book gives simple advice but also a reminder that children are wise and needs to be listened to. I dearly recomend the book!