Life experiences often become a writer's stories and that is true for the nonfiction book, How to Help When Parents Grieve, by author, Holly Fox Vellekoop, delivers practical methods to help parents grieve. The idea for this book came when Holly's younger son Brandon, 39-years-old, passed away from cancer. The author found it unimaginable as to how she was going to face the rest of her days without ever seeing or hearing from her son again. As a mother who knew others who had a child pass away and witnessed their struggle, the author wanted to hear from them to learn how they were able to endure. Recognizing that most of us think we know how we would feel should we suffer such an event, what was discovered is that no one truly knows until it happens to them. That was the beginning of dozens of interviews Holly did with grieving parents who shared with honesty and love, their compelling stories of how their child passed and how they coped. Twenty-seven of those are told within the pages of the book in the parents' own words. All of the stories are as varied as are the individuals themselves. What does one say to someone or what does one do for them to be helpful and show you care? Holly wrote the following in her book: "Approaching a grieving parent can be a daunting task for the rest of their community. Some people feel uneasy and, not knowing what to say or do, do not do anything. They may fear saying or doing the wrong thing. That is disquieting for them, and understandably so."
Within the book are the many comments and actions that were found to be helpful and those that were not, all of which were gleaned from the dozens of personal interviews. The reader will find them useful for approaching and responding to a grieving parent. The book is also an excellent resource of practical ways for the grieving to cope with the many trials and difficulties they face daily. Regardless of how the child passed away, grieving is grieving, and parents need assistance with it. Should you be one of the nearly one in five who have lost a child, it is hoped that you will find a measure of peace and hope from the stories. The target audience is grieving parents, their relatives and friends, teachers, social workers, medical personnel, and anyone interested in the grieving topic.
Paperback, 5 1/2 X 8 1/2, 196 Pages
"Anyone who has experienced loss or knows someone who has, will benefit from reading this book. A must-read for anyone working with those who are grieving, including nurses and physicians. An excellent resource for all those who encounter parents dealing with loss and grief..."
-Dr. M.M. West, PH.D., RN,
Assistant Dean and Associate Professor,
Thomas Jefferson University