After a child dies, the parent's world changes entirely. Years later, this new world has changed the parents. The exact nature of this change-the long-term effects of the death-illuminates the nature of the bond between parents and children.
Ann Finkbeiner lost her son in a train accident when he was 18. Several years later, she noticed she was feeling better and wondered whether this feeling was what was meant by "recovery." As a science writer, she read the psychological, sociological, and psychiatric research into parental bereavement. And as a bereaved parent, she asked hard questions of thirty parents whose child had died at least five years before, of all causes and at all ages.
In this book, Finkbeiner combines the research and the parents' answers into a description of the parents' new lives. The parents talk about their changed marriages and their changed relationships with their other children, with their friends and relatives. They talk about their attempts to make sense of the death and about their drastically changed priorities. And most important, they talk about how they still love their children, how the child seems to see through their eyes and live through their actions. They move on through their grief, they get on with their lives, but they never let go of their children. Their wisdom is here presented to any in need of it.