One of the toughest challenges a parent faces when a child dies is to learn how to parent the surviving children, and the task begins immediately, according to York University psychology Professor Stephen Fleming, wrote the Times of India and other newspapers and websites in the US and South Asia Feb. 16:
From the moment their child dies, parents are faced with the two extremes of loss and life – the suffocating loss of a child and the ongoing, daily demands from their surviving children, says Fleming, co-author of the recently published book, Parenting After the Death of a Child: A Practitioner's Guide.
"The challenge that parents face is this: In the midst of grief, how do you stop parenting the deceased child while you are simultaneously struggling to meet the parenting needs of the children who remain?"
Fleming, a psychology professor in the Faculty of Health at York University, and co-author Jennifer Buckle [MA ’98, PhD ’03], now a professor at Memorial University, did the research for the book when Buckle was a graduate student at York. Their research is based on in-depth interviews with parents who had lost a child and had one or more surviving children.
The original post about the study is available in the Research News section.
Posted by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, research communications officer, with files courtesy of YFile – York University’s daily e-bulletin.