1st Edition

The Book of My Son Reuben A Psychologist on the Loss of His Child

By David Cohen Copyright 2023
    144 Pages
    by Routledge

    144 Pages
    by Routledge

    "I wish I had not had to write this book because then my lovely son Reuben would still be alive," says David Cohen. "He was adorable, formidably intelligent, a loving son, a loving brother. He died far too young. He had the bad luck to have two grandparents who had addictive personalities. His efforts to resist the lure of drugs failed. And so did I."

    The Book of My Son Reuben is a personal account of how psychologist David Cohen coped – and did not cope – with the death of his son, Reuben. Offering a unique perspective on the experience of parental loss, it offers a personal and analytical exploration of sorrow and guilt, and of what research tells us about trauma and grief.

    Illustrated throughout with David Cohen’s personal insight into how he continues to navigate his loss, this honest book provides a deeper understanding of loss for parents who have experienced it, as well as those who support them. The book remembers the many parents who have lost children throughout history and chapters weave personal perspectives with the latest research. It examines the experience of sudden deaths, the failures of society in preventing children from dying, the role of social media, how the loss of a child impacts fathers, siblings and relationships, and the usefulness – or otherwise – of bereavement therapies.

    A tribute to Reuben’s life, this sensitive volume is for those who have experienced loss and want to gain better understanding of their experience, as well as psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors working with families.

    1. To begin at his end. 2. More about Reuben. 3. Pleasure and panic. 4. The death of children in antiquity and the Middle Ages. 5. The shock of death. 6. Reuben as a writer. 7. What children know about death: saying goodbye and spiritualism. 8. School killings. 9. Poverty, class and social work. 10. The physical consequences of bereavement. 11. Psychological research. 12. Social media. 13. Mourning and marriages. 14. How brothers and sisters react. 15. How fathers react to a child’s death. 16. What can help? 17. Reuben – half a life. Appendix: Extract from Theo's Ruins by Reuben Cohen. References


    David Cohen is a prolific writer, filmmaker and psychologist.