When Parents Die

When Parents Die

When Parents Die: A Guide for Adults

Myers, Edward




The topics range from the psychological responses to a parent’s death such as shock, depression, and guilt, to the practical consequences such as dealing with estates and funerals.



An analysis of the problems and emotional reactions experienced by those who have lost a parent, and how they coped. Myers wrote this book because he had been emotionally torn by his mother’s death and overwhelmed during the series of harrowing operations and illnesses that preceded it. In its preparation, he distributed questionnaires and personally interviewed a number of friends, relatives and acquaintances plus various psychologists and others familiar with problems associated with parental deaths. The bereaved include some who tell of being barely affected, some who recall powerful and, at times, frightening grief, disorientation and despair. Although the latter group ultimately came to terms in various ways with their loss, they tended to feel isolated in a culture that downplays public mourning. Readers who have lost one or more parents will, in all likelihood, Find someone in this book who voices experiences that closely parallel their own. This is the book’s chief value: it reassures us that we are not alone, nor are our reactions an indication of emotional instability, weakness or (conversely) inhuman indifference. The various experts who comment on the case histories further bolster the concept that there is a wide range of normal reactions to the death of a parent, while also setting forth guidelines that delineate when a reaction has become pathological. The chapters that deal with how to cope with a long terminal illness and with funerals, estates, family squabbles and lawsuits over property disposition are less helpful. Myers writes with considerable sensitivity and compassion. Despite some deficiencies, his book should give its audience considerable insight into a universal problem, and reassurance that, in the long run, the world will be set right again.



I read this book when my father died. I was 21 and couldn’t relate to most of the books out there, since they seemed to be geared either toward children or toward middle-aged people who’d lost an elderly parent. I was very grateful that this book addressed adult readers of all different ages, including mine. Myers recognizes the different things people are likely going through at different points in their lives. It was comforting to me just to realize that grieving was a normal, natural process and that, even though I felt at an awkward age to be experiencing this type of loss, I wasn’t alone.

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In my journey of grief after my mom’s passing, this book provided to have all the answers. I didn’t feel so all alone in my feelings of loss and anger and displacement. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has lost a parent or is in the process of losing one. I’d even go so far as to recommend you buy it for any friend in that situation as well.

I recently lost my father and was struggling to cope and deal with his untimely passing. I was 21 years old when he passed; my mom’s birthday was only a week away, his was a week and a half. The passing was a complete surprise to all of us. My mom and I don’t exactly have a great relationship, so talking about my dad and his passing became more difficult. I do not have any friends who’s had a parent pass away at a young age, so no one could really help guide me.

I was told by several people to find a book that would possibly help me understand and cope with my dad’s passing. This book did a great job of relating to different age groups (ages 13 – 60+) and different kinds of untimely passing’s (whether it be a long-term disease, suicide, murder, or just out of the blue, like a heart attack). The book remained relatively neutral about the age of the person dealing with the death of his/her parent and how the parent passed, which is great because there aren’t that many books for people (especially my age) dealing with the untimely death of a parent. I have researched and looked for books that could help me (I found that a lot of books deal with young children, teenagers, or people who are 40+ who have recently lost a parent). I realize that young adults like myself experiencing a passing of someone important in their lives may be rare, but it does happen and I’m sure a lot of young adults would like a book to help them; that being said, this book is the closest and best reference out there that I have found.

The author included had many useful tips, tools, and suggestions for how to deal with such a passing and even gave a reference to other books that may be helpful and even some outside resources.

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