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Sibling Bereavement (ebook)
by Ann Farrant. The emotional effect of losing a sibling can result in severe trauma for a child. This book provides advice and guidance.
Price: £4.95

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Sibling Bereavement

ISBN: 978-1-908941-46-6
File Types: ePub, PDF
Formats: eBook, Kindle or Paperback
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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
“A useful tool in working with those grieving an early loss.”


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The emotional effect of losing a brother or sister can result in severe trauma for a child. Many children find it difficult to mourn a lost sibling, and parents can have a hard time helping their children while they themselves are mourning.

Written from personal experience, this book insists that there is no ‘right’ way for parents to behave towards surviving children. It looks at the many and various effects of sibling bereavement as it bears upon the whole family: the repercussions of lack of support; surviving children who act as comforters to their parents; guilt; projections of anger; unresolved conflicts; consequent family relationships; and children who can’t or won’t mourn.

The author uses real-life case studies to illustrate her points, and clarification of the issues involved is provided throughout by the views of an experienced psychologist who has worked with disturbed children. While remaining non-prescriptive, the book is a guide to achieving a ‘healthy’ mourning process, enabling individuals to move forward, even though life can never be the same again.

Ann Farrant is a freelance journalist, writer and researcher. She has worked in many branches of the media – newspaper, magazines and BBC Television. In the 1970s she was a founder member of Cruse Bereavement Care in Norwich; she has also worked as a volunteer fund-raiser for the children’s charity UNICEF.

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“Ann Farrant tells the stories of adults who experienced the death of a brother or sister during childhood, in this much needed book. "When a brother or sister dies," she writes, "the children left behind are mourning not only the loss of that sibling, but also the loss of the shape of the family." Using case studies, she describes the aftermath of sibling death. For some, this meant being neglected by grieving parents; for others it meant being targeted for the parents' subsequent anger. Farrant makes it clear that the death itself is only the beginning, and documents the social and psychological damage resulting from the lost "shape of the family." Sadly, many of her subjects were telling their stories for the first time, never having had the support necessary, as children, to grieve the loss. Children, says Farrant, need to have the enormity of the loss acknowledged at the time.

The author looks at this problem from a historical perspective and weaves together the experiences of those she interviewed with sibling loss in the lives of well-known individuals such as J.M. Barrie, Charlotte Bronte, and Vincent Van Gogh. She touches on the role of literature in society's view of childhood loss, and cites recent works as evidence of encouraging changes in our understanding of how death affects children.

I liked this book and, as a clinician, find it a useful tool in working with adults who are just beginning to grieve an early loss. I recommend it for any adult who lost a brother or sister during childhood. Despite the serious subject matter, it is easy to read and leads the reader towards a hopeful future."

Clinician, St.Louis, Missouri - published on Amazon.com

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