November 14, 2018
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Books by Judy Strong

A Child's Grief
A Child's Grief:
Surviving the Death
of a Parent

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No Time to Grieve
No Time to Grieve
A Survivor's Guide to
Loss and Healing

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Praise for A Child’s Grief: Surviving the Death of a Parent

As an adult who lost her mother at 14, I offer kudos to Judy Strong for her compassionate look at the needs of grieving children. Society’s “no talk” approach to parent loss needs to change, and Judy Strong’s book is an excellent resource for enlightening caring adults about how to create that change. Understanding and responding well to a child’s grief is vital to his future mental health and happiness. Strong’s children experienced the loss of their dad, and through helping her children through the valley of grief, she discovered what kids need to grow up feeling whole. I wish this book had been around for my relatives to read when I was a kid!

Tina Feigal, M.S., Ed.
Parent Coach and Author of The Pocket Coach for Parents: Your Two-Week Guide to a Dramatically Improved Life With Your Intense Child

Judy Strong discusses a difficult topic with the voice of experience and a gentle straightforwardness. In an easily accessible style the book presents information from professionals, as well as Strong’s own life experience, about what grieving children need to find their way back from sorrow. To help others understand children’s reactions to a parent’s death, Strong also provides many examples of the behaviors children who are grieving may exhibit. A Child’s Grief: Surviving The Death of A Parent will be a great resource to anyone—parents, family members, friends, teachers, counselors—who wants to understand how children grieve and to know how to support children during their journey of bereavement.

Mary Linda Sather, Educator and Author of Boo Boo Bear’s Mission: The True Story of a Teddy Bear’s Adventures in Iraq

A resource for bereaved children and adults who care for them

A Child’s Grief is a small sensitively written handbook that packs a valuable range of resources for those working to comfort bereaved children into a compact form. (5.0 out of 5 stars)

A Child’s Grief: Surviving the Death of a Parent is a resource for bereaved children and adults who care for them. From the starting event of death, to the emotional ups and downs of accepting the grieving process, to an examination of the ongoing process of mourning as it specifically applies to children, to a general reference to ethnic, cultural and religious models (of death acceptance), A Child’s Grief contains a thorough catalog of tools and facts to help steer a child through the devastation of parental loss. Particularly handy are the small shaded paragraphs on the upper right portion of the right page containing significant hints or tips for how to help the grieving child or telling what to expect when dealing with a grieving child. A Child’s Grief is a small sensitively written handbook that packs a valuable range of resources for those working to comfort bereaved children into a compact form.

By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI), March 9, 2010

You must have this book

As a psychologist and online Psychology Instructor, this is a topic that I will address with my students and will recommend this book to all of them. This is a short, fast read that is easy to understand. Mark what you read and then discuss it with your family. None of us want to see a loved one pass, but it happens every day and we need to prepare for it. Author Judy Strong has done a very remarkable job in “A Child’s Grief: Surviving the Death of a Parent.” (5.0 out of 5 stars)

As a psychologist I have read many books on grief and children. What I like best about “A Child’s Grief” was it was honest, full of passion and advice. Judy Strong didn’t criticize but gave her own personal experience of her husband dying suddenly and the experiences of her children.

In each chapter she gives reasons why we don’t look at children and their thoughts, even adult children. Strong offers sound advice on what we, as families, can do to recognize children’s experiences. This not only applies to a death of the parent, but parents who are deployed, or loss of relationships, pets and friendships.

The author states “Young children respond to role models in front of them.” This is all children have regardless of their age. Sometimes as adults we think that our kids don’t have the opportunity to say goodbye due to hospital rules or families not letting them attend funerals. We don’t discuss truthfully what happened but say things in general “Dad has gone to heaven, God needed him there.” We are doing a disservice to our kids – they have many questions about what happened and why. I remember this week my granddaughter asked about the killer whale and the lady who was killed. She saw the videos on TV and was very distraught. We talked about death, why it might have happened and what she thought should be done. I was very amazed at her insight at the age of five.

In recent months, my dad died unexpectedly. We talked about it some but only from the doctor’s point of view; my family doesn’t talk about it. As Ms. Strong states “death is largely ignored. We don’t plan ahead, ask wishes and just go on.” This has a great impact on children. It creates fear that another person in our lives will leave; it’s a feeling of abandonment for kids of all ages. If anything is left undone, those kids, even as adults, will feel loss and won’t be able to handle what they didn’t get to do. All readers need to learn to say goodbye and learn about death. All of us need to know what happened in our own level of understanding.

Many children are then left to be the “adult” and have no idea what that means. It is a big responsibility, in addition to possibly moving, dealing with financial issues and the lack of communication with those around them.

In each chapter Strong gives psychological issues that might occur as well as tips on what to do to help children of all ages. I found her straightforward, passionate thoughts to be inspiring to all families.

Strong’s honesty, without saying what readers might have done wrong, was excellent. I appreciated the stories she shared from people who had written her expressing their feelings. In the back of the book she gave numerous resources to help families. We all will deal with death at some time in our lives. How will we handle it? Why don’t we talk about death in general? How should we handle hospital visitations? What are our plans for burial? What do we do in the case of sudden death?

As a psychologist and online Psychology Instructor, this is a topic that I will address with my students and will recommend this book to all of them. This is a short, fast read that is easy to understand. Mark what you read and then discuss it with your family. None of us want to see a loved one pass, but it happens every day and we need to prepare for it. Author Judy Strong has done a very remarkable job in “A Child’s Grief: Surviving the Death of a Parent.”

Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD, for Reader Views

A gentle, optimistic book about the resolution that is possible when we lead children through the grieving process.

Strong hopes that adults will educate children about death and grieving before they actually lose a family member, this book would be very accessible to a parent who is grieving the loss of his or her partner. It is gentle, encouraging, and easy to follow. The length would be just right for someone who is seeking guidance but is also overwhelmed with managing day-to-day tasks after suddenly becoming a single parent. (5.0 out of 5 stars)

By senior year in high school one in twenty children will experience the death of a parent, according to author Judy Strong. Many more will lose grandparents. Children who do not suffer the loss of a loved one personally are likely at some time to have a friend who is grieving. This is why, Strong argues, it is important to educate all children about death and grieving.

Ours is a culture that avoids talking about death. Lacking any model, children are unable to express their feelings after the loss of a parent. Strong argues that talking about the loss is a crucial part of moving through the grieving process. Children must feel safe and comfortable in order to share their feelings. A Child’s Grief begins this conversation. Strong writes that to avoid grieving is to “not say goodbye. The final expression of love and need toward the deceased never takes place. There is no letting go, and the griever remains suspended in irresolution, unable or unwilling to acknowledge that the dead person is gone forever.”

In her book, A Child’s Grief, Judy Strong hopes to convince the reader that it is important to let children grieve. Children know that others are uncomfortable with their sadness and learn to put on a happy face. This may lead adults to believe that the grieving child has moved on when, in fact, the child is still dealing with a lot of emotion.

Strong urges adults to allow children to express their sadness while helping readers understand the feelings grieving children might have at different ages. Using vignettes, some fictional, and some based on the experience of her own children, Strong describes the experience of losing a parent through a child’s eyes. She also discusses some of the practical difficulties of becoming a single parent and their impact on children.

Though Strong hopes that adults will educate children about death and grieving before they actually lose a family member, this book would be very accessible to a parent who is grieving the loss of his or her partner. It is gentle, encouraging, and easy to follow. The length would be just right for someone who is seeking guidance but is also overwhelmed with managing day-to-day tasks after suddenly becoming a single parent.

Strong feels that people who lose a parent in childhood will grieve for the rest of their lives, but A Child’s Grief is still an optimistic book. Grieving, Strong says, is an expression of love. She believes that children, if given a chance to grieve properly, can live happy lives and have healthy relationships. They are likely to become more sensitive to the pain of others and to instinctively recognize when others need someone who will listen.

Though Strong is realistic about the hardships that a grieving family will face throughout the process, her vignettes take us through each stage of grieving to its successful resolution. Rather than a list of pitfalls to avoid, it is a model of healthy grieving from which parents can draw inspiration. Strong is hopeful that we can help children internalize this model before they lose a loved one. Children educated about death will become better at listening to and comforting their friends and will be better prepared when, either as children or adults, they need to say goodbye to a parent.

Feathered Quill Book Reviews

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