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Finding Hope When a Child Dies
What Other Cultures Can Teach Us
by Sukie Miller
- Language: english
- Release date: January 1, 1999
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster
- ISBN: 9780684846637 (0684846632)
- Author: Sukie Miller
- Format: hardcover, 206 pages
About The Book
But what if there were such a thing as destiny? In a world where life and death are part of a great cycle or part of a greater plan than we mortals can know, we would still weep, still ache, still grieve for our children who are gone — but we would not say ”In some way I am responsible.” And this makes all the difference in the world. The death of a child is an event of overwhelming loss that is never really forgotten. Yet our limited language and view of the afterlife inhibit any satisfactory answers to the questions we have after our children die. It seems to us not only tragic when a child dies, but unnatural. We suffer more because we can’t fully comprehend the death of a child we love, and we somehow feel guilty, punished for something we’ve done or not done.
”Finding Hope When a Child Dies” gives voice to the unpronounced fears and the consuming guilt that most people in Western cultures experience at the loss or children they have loved. It encourages us to understand the shift in our universe that occurs after the death of a child by showing us how this terrible event, common to people world-wide, is experienced differently in other culture. ”Why did my child die?” and ”Is my child suffering now?” are questions that all people ask, no matter what their ethnic or cultural background. But the range of answers to those questions is at once surprising and comforting.
In ”Finding Hope When a Child Dies,” Dr. Sukie Miller, author of the landmark work ”After Death,” shares her research on rituals, beliefs, and practices that relate to the afterlife, and she offers healing stories from other cultures. Most important, she confronts the ”seventh guilt,” the feeling thatthe death is our fault, that so often undermines the healing process. She examines what our own cultural system teaches us about the death of our children, and she extends hope to those of us who are brokenhearted — not only parents and grandparents, siblings, and extended family who have lost a child, but also those who don’t know how to behave with such stricken families. This is a book about grief and healing, a book that invites us to look at the heartening possibilities of other culture and ask only, ”What if these were ”my” beliefs?” ”What if ”this” were true?” Dr. Miller suggests we approach the universal questions about our children who have died not as scientists but as seekers, to seek a meaning in what seems senseless, to try to become whole people again, even if we cannot ever be the same.
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