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How to Survive the Loss of a Parent: A Guide for Adults

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228 pages3 hours

Summary

We expect our parents to die before we do. Most of us agree that this is the “natural” order of things. Because of this assumption, people are often shocked by how deeply sad and even traumatized they feel when they lose a parent. They wonder why it takes so long to recover—how even months or years later the thought of Mom or Dad can cause them to burst into tears. This phenomenon happens for those who were close to their parents, those who were estranged, and those whose relationships were complicated. With the parent’s death, they feel a fundamental crack in their existence because this person, the one who knew them before they were born, is now gone.

I have spent much of my professional life counseling people grieving the loss of a parent. Through their stories I have learned that there is no single defining experience of grief, no rules for how it should be expressed or how long it should last. But in grieving the loss of our parents, each in our own ways, we journey those well tread roads and learn more about ourselves in the process. How to Survive the Loss of a Parent offers no high-minded rules for grieving. It is just a conversation and a sharing of the experiences of others that I hope will bring people solace and insight. Knowing we are not alone is one of the best ways to heal.

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