In spite of society's wish to protect and insulate children from death, the experience of loss is unavoidable and there is surprisingly little guidance on how to help children cope with grief and bereavement. Never Too Young to Death in Children's Lives is the first book to bring together diverse fields of study, offering a practical as well as multifaceted theoretical approach to how children cope with death. Using stories of children's own experiences supported by data from a large research study, Silverman explains the wide range of effects of loss upon children and the challenges they face as they grieve. Silverman presents grief as a normal part of the life cycle, which results not only in pain and sadness but also in change and growth. She further explains that children can and do cope effectively with loss and the changes it brings as long as they are taught to understand that death is a part of life and that they will be included appropriately in the family drama. Never Too Young To Death in Children's Lives is divided into three parts. The first section includes an overview and theoretical framework that examines the social, historical, developmental, and familial forces that frame and focus children's lives as they experience loss. The second section offers a detailed analysis of how children experience mourning different types of death including the death of siblings, parents, and friends, and death due to illness, suicide, accidents, and violence. The final section includes an accessible guide to helping children cope with grief, emphasizing the importance and the necessity of social support as children learn to adapt to their new lives. Never Too Young To Death in Children's Lives is not only ideal for advanced undergraduate and graduate students learning about children but it is also useful for courses on death and dying and the family. It is also an invaluable book for mental health practitioners, clergy, schoolteachers, nurses, pediatricians, as well as the general reader interested in learning how to deal with death in children's lives.
Phyllis Rolfe Silverman, Ph.D. (July 10, 1927–June 10, 2016), authored many books on bereavement. She taught that grief is a normal life cycle transition, and that mourning means finding a new sense of self that incorporates a continuing bond with the deceased.
Dr. Silverman earned a BA from Brooklyn College, Master's degrees from the Smith College School of Social Work and the Harvard School of Public Health, and a PhD from the Heller School at Brandeis University. Emerita Professor at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, and Scholar-in-Residence at the Women's Studies Research Center, Brandeis University. She was a founder of The Children's Room in Arlington, MA.