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Spiritual Lives of Bereaved Parents

by Dennis Klass, Ph.D., Wester University, St. Louis, MO

This book describes how parents lose, find, or relocate spiritual anchors after the death of their child. It describes how ordinary people reconstruct their lives after their foundations have shifted, how they reconnect after one of their primary attachments has been lost, and how they make sense of their world after one of their centers of meaning has been removed.

Full Description:   

This book describes how parents lose, find, or relocate spiritual anchors after the death of their child. It describes how ordinary people reconstruct their lives after their foundations have shifted, how they reconnect after one of their primary attachments has been lost, and how they make sense of their world after one of their centers of meaning has been removed.

Klass grounds his descriptions of spirituality in his scholarly study of comparative religions, and in his two decades studying the lives of bereaved parents. Grounded in this academic discipline, the author develops a definition of spirituality that is adequate to the many religious and spiritual traditions of humankind and adequate to the complexity and depth of the real lived experience of bereaved parents. Continuing bonds with their dead children can give parents a new transcendent reality. Deceased children, like saints or boddhisattvas, can offer a bridge between the profane and sacred worlds, support parents as they find meaning in a world made forever poorer, and bind together a community adequate to parents grief.

The book reports Klasss clinical practice and his work as advisor to a bereaved parents self-help support group. The author maintains that spirituality is not a realm apart, but is woven into every aspect of human life and into every professional work. Klass shows how, by practicing their professions well, mental health and pastoral workers can help parents along their spiritual paths.

    Contents:
  1. Foreword
  2. Preface
  3. The Aftermath of Spiritual Storms
  4. The Spiritual Aspects of Parents Grief
  5. Community and the Transformation of the Parent-Child Bond
  6. Solace: Comfort within Devastation
  7. Worldviews: Finding Order in the Universe
  8. Implications for Professionals Who Want to Help
  9. Research Method: How Can an Outsider Understand?
  10. References

      208 pages; soft bound

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