The topic of death and related issues (such as grief) often begin with questions. When the questions come from, or are about, children or adolescents, they bring an additional component…the fear some adults have of giving a “wrong” answer. In this context a wrong answer is one that can cause more harm than good for the child or adolescent who asked the question. This book provides information that can be used to address the death-related questions from children and adolescents. It also looks at questions from caring adults about the way children or adolescents view death and the grief that follows a death or any major loss.
Children, Adolescents, and Death covers topics that start with early studies of childhood grief and progress to expression of grief in cyberspace. There is no one answer to most of the questions in this book. There are contributors from a number of continents, countries, cultures, and academic disciplines, each of whom brings a unique view of the topic issues they discuss. There are presentations of practical interventions that others may copy, upon which they can build. There are a number of chapters that look at death education in both family and school settings. This work contains ideas and techniques that can be of value to parents, educators, counselors, therapists, spiritual advisors, caring adults and, of course, will be of the most benefit to those who ask the most questions…the children and adolescents themselves.
Table of Contents
Section 1: Knowledge of Death. 1. Children and Death: What Do They Know and When Do They Learn It? Robert G. Stevenson 2. Death vs. 2014: How Children and Adolescents are Learning and Grieving in Cyberspace Illene Noppe Cupit and Olyvia Kuchta 3. The Disenfranchised Grief of Children and Adolescents Kenneth J. Doka 4 Trauma and Grief in Early Life: A Model for Supporting Children, Adolescents, and Their Families Dianne McKissock 5. Family Therapy and Traumatic Losses Stephanie Rabenstein and Darcy Harris Section 2: Coping with Death at Home and at School 6. Children and Death: Coping through Humor, Art, and Music Gerry Cox 7. "Oh, Those Poor Children!": Borrowing Historical and Biographical Loss Narratives of Grieving Children Harold Ivan Smith 8. Child Development: An Existential Journey Neil Thompson 9. Children, Adolescents, and Catastrophic Loss: The Role of Spiritual Care Peter Ford 10. Helping Bereaved Children in the Schools Linda Goldman 11. A School Counselor’s Role in Bereavement Counseling Arthur McCann Section 3: Death and the Family 12. Seasons of Love: Measuring a Child’s Life After Suicide Janet S. McCord and Rebecca S. Morse 13. Dealing with Loss and Grief of Minority Children in an Urban Setting Fernando Cabrera and Robert Stevenson 14. When a Grandparent Dies Richard Gilbert 15. Difficult Conversations: Children, Adolescents, and Death Carolyn Cullen 16. The Presence of Absence: The Struggle for Meaning in the Death of a Child Robert A. Neimeyer and Wendy G. Lichtenthal Appendix: Questions and Answers
Robert G. Stevenson is senior professor in the graduate counseling program of Mercy College in New York and a recipient of the New York State Defense of Freedom Medal. He developed the first independent course on death education at the high-school level and taught it for 25 years.
Gerry R. Cox is professor emeritus of sociology/archaeology at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, former director of the Center for Death Education & Bioethics, and a member of the board of directors of the National Prison Hospice Association.
"In this brilliantly researched book, the greatest experts have shared their skillfully blended tools into a volume of readable, compelling, and penetrating insights. What a magnificent contribution for all who are concerned with the grief experiences of children and youth!"
Rabbi Earl A. Grollman, DHL, DD, author of Talking about Death: A Dialogue Between Parent and Child
"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. We’re all too ready, hungry for this book of readily accessible resources and action plans to help support children and ourselves in this current net-age fraught with disasters, man-made and natural."
Sandra Bertman, PhD, FT, author of Facing Death: Images, Insights & Interventions; Grief and the Healing Arts: Creativity as Therapy
"This book provides a comprehensive look at the issues faced by bereaved children and adolescents. It presents, in detail, what we know about grieving children, as well as specific ways to facilitate their mourning process. There is something here for everyone—bereaved parents, school personnel, mental health workers, and all who are faced with the normative but often challenging behavior of grieving kids. Readers can select from a potpourri of topics that pertain to their current questions and interests."
J. William Worden, PhD ABPP, codirector of the Harvard Child Bereavement Study and author of Children and Grief: When a Parent Dies