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The unexpected loss of a child is something that no parent can ever imagine. This book, told mainly from the maternal viewpoint, explores the tragic accidental death of a 19-year-old. Andrea Corrie gives a direct and honest account of the emotions and the practicalities of working through the shock and grief of losing James, a much loved son, stepson, brother and friend. The message of the book is one of hope; its intent is to leave the reader feeling optimistic for the future, not despondent about the past. The non-linear process of working through grief and sorrow is examined. The book spans the eight year transition from the dark days of early loss in 2005 to a gradual return of living in the light today. Andrea also explores some of the resources available, particularly via the internet, to those who are grieving, as well as discussing the most constructive ways to channel energies into overcoming the agonies of child bereavement. Particular attention is paid to TCF (The Compassionate Friends - a charitable organisation run by bereaved parents for bereaved parents) and the online US based group DSN (Drowning Support Network, a Yahoo group). Members of both groups, along with family and friends have contributed, sharing their own experiences. Issues specific to loss through drowning are discussed as is Andrea's successful campaign to institute safety features at the riverside in Kingston upon Thames where her son lost his life. This book offers reassurance to anyone living with loss, demonstrating that it is possible to return to joyful, meaningful living after the death of a child. Its readership need not be limited to bereaved parents as the subject matter provides useful insight to anyone supporting those who have lost a child, as well as those in the caring professions.
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