To give a content review of this book would not begin to do it justice. This is a book for the heart. The broken heart. The confused mind. The nurse, doctor, midwife, family and friends of the bereaved. .. ..Help, Comfort and Hope speaks to those who have lost a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, sudden infant death, and termination of pregnancy. Part One guides parents through the experience of bereavement and Part Two provides specific information for caregivers with empathy and first-hand knowledge.
Giving this book is an act of love. Why? It provides empathy, knowledge, and healing for all who have been touched by the loss of a child. Caretakers whose intention is to "spare" the parent don't realize that they are, in fact, prolonging and complicating the grief process. People around the shocked parents often feel helpless, insecure, and at a loss as to what to do. Their "doing nothing" has the same result of complicating the grief process.
Psychologist Hannah Lothrop not only paints a vivid picture of the parents reactions, often in their own words, but is equally understanding of the staff and others, gently explaining what to do (what helps heal) as well as what does not help (and in fact hinders). There is no judgment, no moralizing. Only understanding, knowledge, and hope.
Her own experience is graphic: "In 1984, my husband's and my life changed in a moment when we learned that our baby, growing inside of me and with whom I had already formed a strong bond, wasn't healthy. I got to know the excruciating pain of loss from first-hand experience. But I also learned the night would eventually end and that life would blossom anew. . . .It was clear I couldn't run away from the pain. I held our daughter in my hands and absorbed her looks and her features, her image imprinting itself forever in my heart, while I cried."
The author ends the book with a very practical section including: supporting the bereaved, caring for the bereaved in and out of the hospital, spiritual care, support groups for bereaved parents and families, dealing with death in child birth education, funeral directors, and grief support.
After having diligently read every word of this profoundly moving book with my head and my heart, I want to make it a permanent part of my library and I want six more copies to share with family, friends, and patients. This book covers the full spectrum of human experience and ranks on a par with Kubler-Ross pioneering work On Death and Dying. What a beautifully written book! Who wouldn't want to buy, own, treasure, and share this profound book of healing?
Help, Comfort and Hope after Losing Your Baby in Pregnancy or the First Year, was first published in German in 1992 by Kosel-Verlag, GmBH & Co., Munich. Fortunately, it is now available in English.
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