The Bereaved Parent
Harriet Sarnoff Schiff

When a child dies, the world implodes. The family is cast into a maelstrom of pain from which there seems to be no relief, no hope of ever regaining a sense of normality. At each grieving home, someone should show up the day after the funeral with this book in hand, ready to share.

Schiff writes for everyone, regardless of faith or lack of faith, defining and clarifying the issue of how to deal with this kind of devastating bereavement. She puts the pain in perspective, acknowledging the difficulties it causes in relationship to a variety of subjects: To family and friends, the funeral, guilt, anger, communication, religion, marriage, siblings, pleasure, functioning and the all-important "rest of your life."

About holidays Schiff writes, "A very difficult area of functioning is coming to grips with the knowledge that there is absolutely no way of getting around holidays and vacations. Thanksgiving and Christmas and birthdays will come despite your best efforts to avoid them. And they are horrendous times for many years. Their pain cannot be minimized. But they still must be faced."

As a bereaved parent, Schiff's tender and upbeat treatment of this painful and sensitive subject makes her book a classic and lifts it far above others in the genre. If you read only one book on grieving, make it this one.

-R. Tiedemann

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