Monday, March 26, 2012

When An Adult Child Dies: Resources for Bereaved Parents

[Updated August 21, 2017]

Pieta, by Michelangelo
I don't think of him every day; I think of him every hour of every day.
~ Gregory Peck, in an interview many years after the death of his son

In the ordinary course of events, we parents don't expect to out-live our own grown children. But when an adult child does precede us in death, it shatters our assumptive world and brings us to our knees. It goes against what we perceive to be the natural order of things, and it feels very, very unfair.

At such a sorrowful time, where can bereaved parents turn for understanding, comfort and support?

Recently I was asked to suggest a list of resources for a support group aimed at parents coping with the death of an adult child. The resources I've assembled are listed below, including links to a number of articles I've found in my travels around the Internet, some books I've read myself and personally recommend, and several helpful and informative websites. (These and other resources are listed on my website's Death of an Infant, Child or Grandchild page.)

If you know of any other resources you’d like to see added to the list, or if you'd like to comment on my selections, you are most welcome to do so in the Comments section below.

Articles:

A Letter to People in Pain: The Early Days of Grief Are a World of Their Own by Megan Devine

Accidental Death: Stories from Kota Press

A Mother's Tribute to Her Son by Angie Ruhry

A Name for a Parent Whose Child Has Died by Karla FC Holloway

A Parent's Guide to Grieving a Child via Funeral Services Guide

Angel of Hope Memorial Gardens by Marissa Abruzzini

Bereaved Fathers Find Healing in Friendship by Bella English

Dear Kate: Living With Grief by Nancy Comiskey

Death of a Child Affects Relationships Throughout Family by Alex James

Death of a Child ~ Grief of the Parents: A Lifelong Journey by National SIDS Resource Center

Farewell To My Daughter Kate, Who Died On Christmas Day by Jean Gross

Growing a Strong Marriage after the Death of a Child by Margaret Brownley

Helping Bereaved Parents Cope by Sandy Fox

How Grief Can Affect a Marriage by Pat Schwiebert

How My Aunt Would Console Joe Biden by Uma Girish

How to Talk To A Parent Who Has Lost a Child by Samantha Hayward

Just Keep Breathing: Coping with the Loss of A Young Adult Child to Cancer by Pat Taylor

Let Me Tell You Who I Am Now by Angela Miller

Loving My Son, After His Death by Nora Wong

My Adult Son's Death Has Changed My Life by Basia Mosinski

Parental Grief in the Wake of Homicide by Marty Tousley

Reaching Out, Sharing Grief by Sherry Cassedy

6 Things to Never Say to A Bereaved Parent by Angela Miller

The Obliterated Place by Cheryl Strayed

What I Wish More People Understood About Losing A Child by Paula Stephens

What to Say to Grieving Parents After A Child Dies by Teresa TL Bruce

When A Child Dies Of Drug Addiction by Joni Norby

Blogs:

Surviving Grief: Death of a Child (I Have No Intention of Saying Goodbye) by Sandy Fox

Alive in Memory by Maria Kubitz

Kelly Buckley Blog by Kelly Buckley

Books:

A Mosaic Heart: Reshaping the Shards of a Shattered Life by Terry Jones-Brady

A Season of Grief: A Comforting Companion for Difficult Days by Ann Dawson

A Vow Made True: From Grief to Hope by Dolores Carruthers

After the Death of a Child: Living with Loss through the Years by Ann Finkbeiner

Amazing Adventures with Dev by Melody Boulton and Devon Allen Merritt

And a Sword Shall Pierce Your Heart: Moving from Despair to Meaning After the Death of a Child by Charlotte Mathes

Disaster Falls by Stephane Gerson

Dreaming Kevin: The Path to Healing by Carla Blowey

Gratitude in Grief: Finding Daily Joy and a Life of Purpose Following the Death of My Son by Kelly S. Buckley

Grieving Parents: Surviving Loss As A Couple by Nathalie Himmelrich

Heaven's Animator by Kathy Andrews

Just One Little Thing by Kelly S. Buckley

Love Never Dies: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Love by Sandy Goodman

Making Toast: A Family Story by Roger Rosenblatt

May We All Heal: Playbook for Creative Healing After Loss by Nathalie Himmelrich

No Words: A True Story of Love, Tragic Loss, and Ultimate Survival by Renee Kimberling

Soul Shift: Finding Where the Dead Go by Mark Ireland

The Angel Tales: Refuge for a Parent's Healing Heart by Deneene Florino

The Grieving Garden: Living with the Death of a Child by Suzanne Redfern and Susan Gilbert

The Lively Shadow: Living With the Death of a Child by Donald Murray

When Every Day Matters: A Mother's Memoir on Love, Loss and Life by Mary Jane Hurley Brant

Interviews:

Enduring the Death of a Child: What It's Like and How to Help a Grieving Parent

Making Toast: Author and Bereaved Dad Roger Rosenblatt Talks with NPR's Diane Rehm

Websites:

Bereaved Parents of the USA - Home Page

Center for Loss and Trauma - Dr. Joanne Cacciatore

The Compassionate Friends: National

Fathers Forever

GriefHaven: Providing Support and Resources to Those Who've Lost a Child

Grieving Dads: To The Brink and Back

Grieving Parents Support Network

Hospice of the Valley's Grief Support Services

Lamenting Sons: Fathers in Grief

The Loss of a Child

Love Never Dies: A Mother's Journey form Loss to Love

Mothers Finding Meaning Again - Mary Jane Hurley Brant

Open to Hope

POMC: Parents Of Murdered Children

Your feedback is welcome! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question, or share a tip, a related article or a resource of your own in the Comments section below.
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© by Marty Tousley, RN, MS, FT, DCC   

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