The Spiritual Lives of Bereaved Parents
(Series in Death, Dying, and Bereavement)
While it can be risky (and possibly unfair) to compare people's reactions to different kinds of loss, it would appear safe to assume that few journeys are as traumatic as those felt by bereaved parents. Second, few losses seem to involve a spiritual depth and exposure that quite matches the anguish, searching, an, on occasion, rage, reserved for a grieving parent. I have been there, as a bereaved parent and as a specialist in the spiritual dimensions of bereavement. Klass has essentially brought together two themes in one book, a well researched, story-rich look at the grief experience unique to bereaved parents and, with it, spiritual dimensions of loss. Klass gives good examples, helpful definitions, and clarity for those who walk with bereaved parents who often find helpers unwilling even to tiptoe through the spiritual expressions of loss. While I personally lean toward a further distinction between spirituality and religion, Klass does a very fine job of distinguishing the two and inviting us to explore both aspects with grieving parents. Continuing the theme of his earlier work with Phyllis Silverman, Continuing Bonds, probably the most crucial point in the book is the need for parents to continue their parenting and spiritual bond with their child or children in realms that are eternal and forever. Too many clergy and other religious folks lose sight of this in practice and dogma, and thus stand in the way of a most precious need and right.
The Rev. Dr. Richard B. Gilbert, BCC - Editor & Reviewer