Monday, July 30, 2012

When A Child Has Been Murdered: Ways You Can Help the Grieving Parents

By: Bonnie Hunt Conrad

Death, Value and Meaning Series, John D. Morgan, Series Editor


"This book is about parents and their relentless pain following the tragic, traumatic homicide of their child and the ways they are coping. Every parent experiencing this type of grief will be able to relate to the book. Every professional who works with parents affected by homicide will welcome this book as a ready reference in their work. Every law enforcement person who deals with homicide, including police officers, prosecuting attorneys, and judges, will want to read this and learn how to better be with survivors. It is a must for all interested persons who want to help. It is interesting, informative, sensitive, and easy to follow."

—Constance M. Read, DPC, NCC, CPC, R.N.C.S.-P

"Conrad has offered providers and parents a sensitive, insightful and well-crafted book and friend to the very battered and bruised parents (and others close by) now forced to deal with the outrage of a child's murder. It also forces society and community, often unwilling to even see the raw data of violence in our community, to wrestle with this most painful journey of despair and hopelessness, albeit a journey still open to some measure of hope and healing. This book keeps up the publisher's high standards for content, but with welcomed refreshment of more room for the experiential ... connecting our heads with our hearts. The book will be equally friendly to the bereaved parents.

The book states right at the beginning what is at the center for this most difficult loss experience. It does wander back into a general discussion of grief (so useful for this subject, but also for a wider readership), but it is so well crafted that, while being informed, we are building up steam, or at least a running start, to get back into focus on grief that responds to, but dare not succumb to, violent death. Conrad has served us well. More important, she has served grieving parents very well."

—Reverend Richard B. Gilbert, Executive Director of The World Pastoral Care Center

"This is a powerful yet sensitive book with personal accounts by parents who have experienced the saddest loss in a parent's life. The book is easy to read and has a comforting sense of style, which helps to fight back the tears that it evokes at times. The death of a loved one is difficult to discuss. When the death is caused by murder it is even more difficult to comprehend. Conrad addresses areas beyond the funeral and offers insight for those who will be working with the grieving family. . . .I found this book to be both practical and informative. I would highly recommend it to grieving parents, family members, relatives, co-workers, and friends who are dealing with loved ones who have been killed or are dealing with the stages of death and dying."

—Doreen Head, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA, Journal of Family Studies, Vol. 5, No. 1, April 1999

"I would recommend this excellent book to anyone bereaved through murder or manslaughter, not just bereaved parents. It will also be of benefit to professionals working with families who have been bereaved in this way. It is one of the best I have read dealing with this painful subject."

—Rose Dixon, Training and Development Officer, SAMM, Bereavement Care, Volume 20, Number 3, Winter 2001


When a Child Has Been Murdered: Ways You Can Help the Grieving Parents is a concise, easy- to-read guide that begins with a general discussion of the types of grief that result from death and non-death losses. Then, using statements made by parents whose children were murdered, it discusses the specifics of murdered-child grief including: the complex emotions felt by the grieving parents, how the necessity of interacting with the criminal justice system can alter and enhance these emotions, short- and long-term methods these parents employ to work through the grieving process and to reconstruct their shattered lives, and how anyone who comes in contact with the parents can help them survive their grief.

This book deals with an issue making headlines throughout the world—the murder of our children, teenagers, and young adults. We all know that murder occurs much too frequently. But do we know that frequency is only half the problem?

The other half is that every time a child is murdered another parent joins thousands of other parents who are struggling to cope with one of the most devastating and debilitating forms of grief. Too often, because the subject of murder is terrifying to all of us, and because too few of us fully understand the complexities of murdered-child grief, these parents are left to grieve alone.

This new work was written to fulfill two objectives. The first is to describe the excruciatingly painful, and sometimes terrifying, emotions of murdered-child grief, and to let newly bereaved parents know that the emotions they are feeling are normal and necessary to the grieving process. The second is to make the bereaved parents' relatives and friends, and all others who come in contact with them, aware of the many ways they can help the parents to survive their devastating grief.

The voices heard in this book are those of actual parents whose children were murdered. Despite their pain, they talk about the brutality of their children's murders, about their experiences with the criminal justice system, and about their short- and long-term efforts to reconstruct their shattered lives. By telling their stories they hope to educate those who have not experienced murdered-child grief as to what it is like to be the parent of a murdered child, and to inform them of the many ways they can help bereaved parents work through the grieving process.

Baywood Publishing Company, Inc.

Phone: 631 691-1270
Fax: 631 691-1770
Toll free order line: 800-638-7819