Despite the rise of clinical interest in posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic stress in children, there has been little attention paid to the impact of sibling death as a traumatic event. Although there is much evidence that children suffer long-lasting consequences of such trauma as divorce or the loss of a parent, the loss of a sibling has not been the topic of substantial clinical or research attention. The sibling relationship has only begun to receive research and theoretical attention. The complexities of the sibling bond as it changes and evolves over the life-span have only begun to be explored.
The death of a child has generally been considered one of the most stressful events encountered by families in our society. The chronicity of illnesses such as cystic fibrosis is in a sense new, an outgrowth of recent advances in medical treatment which have considerably extended the lives of children stricken with leukemia, cystic fibrosis, HIV-infection, diabetes, and others. This book explores the long-term consequences of chronic illness followed by the death of a sibling on adult adjustment. The illness and loss of the child will have a direct impact on the siblings, dependent upon their own capacity to give meaning to its occurrence and to mourn the loss effectively. In addition, the sibling's world will be inexorably shaped by the handling of the illness and loss by the parents.
"…enormously moving book…present a powerful argument for emotional support for the ill child and the family, including siblings with their own special needs. This book makes an important contribution…"
—British Journal of Psychotherapy
"This book contains up to date information concerning the treatment of a broad array of psychological disorders seen in children and adolescents. The contributors to this volume represent a top notch group of scientist-practitioners. The chapters are very well written and extremely informative. The detailed presentations of assessment and treatment techniques make this book an excellent reference for clinicians, as well as a terrific introduction for students attempting to develop a repertoire of clinical skills. This book will be viewed as a most welcomed addition to the applied psychologist library.
—Alan M. Gross, PhD
Professor of Psychology, The University of Mississippi
"This work represents an important step in advancing the awareness of the effects of death on siblings, and a call to those of us in the health profession to recognize and intervene effectively in order to prevent compounding the loss."
—Harvey J. Cohen, MD, PhD
Chief of Staff, Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University
"An impressive pioneering study of the far-ranging and long-lasting impact on growing children of the chronic illness and death of a sibling before reaching adulthood. A major contribution to the psychoanalytic literature on the complexly imbricated nature of sibling relationships, far transcending early psychoanalytic formulations focused too narrowly just on sibling rivalry and its consequences. A 'must read' for everyone concerned with trauma, loss, coping, and development in both their clinical ramifications and in their implications for our expanded psychoanalytic theoretical understandings of the life course and its vicissitudes."
—Robert S. Wallerstein, MD
Past-President, American Psychoanalytic Association and International Psychoanal
"A child's illness and death is a family tragedy, terrifying and ultimately devastating for every member of the family. Too often we give little attention to the child's siblings. Fanos brings home to us with insight and compassion the siblings' reactions: their resentments, their guilts, their fears, and their deep and persisting sense of loss. This book should be consulted regularly by all parents of seriously ill children, and it should be on the desk of all professionals who would provide parents of seriously ill children with support and counsel or provide siblings of seriously ill children with understanding."
—Robert S. Weiss
University of Massachusetts, Boston
Contents: G.H. Pollock, Foreword. Preface. The Problem. The Family Setting. The Sibling Relationship. The Sibling's View of the Illness. The Ordeal. The Aftermath. The Next Year. Fear. Waiting. Guilt. Resolution. Recommendations. Appendix: Methods.