Examines the pain middle-aged adults face when their parents pass away and explores the common feelings of guilt, sorrow and anger experienced as a result of their loss. Original.
Losing our parents when we ourselves are adults is in the natural order of things, a rite of passage into true adulthood. But whether we lose them suddenly or after a prolonged illness, and whether we were close to or estranged from them, this passage proves inevitably more difficult than we thought it would be. A much-needed and knowledgeable discussion of this adult phenomenon, The Orphaned Adult validates the wide array of disorienting emotions that can accompany the death of our parents by sharing both the author's heart-felt experience of loss and the moving stories of countless adults who have shared their losses with him. From the recognition of our own mortality and sudden child-like sorrow to a sometimes-subtle change in identity or shift of roles in the surviving family, The Orphaned Adult guides readers through the storm of change this passage brings and anchors them with its compassionate and reassuring wisdom.
All her life Monnie Whitson longed for independence. Then, as Albuquerque's leading on-air radio personality, she was well on her way to success. But when her doctor's diagnosed her mother with Parkinson's disease, a dark, painful road overtook her. A Daughter Reborn is her story of a journey to hell and back as she first watched her mother die through a debilitating illness, and then as her father battled and lost to cancer. The journey left her as a mid-life orphan, yet a daughter reborn to true independence. Unfortunately, Monnie's journey is the same journey too many mid-life adults must endure. The rugged, no-holds-barred, first hand account of the family struggle against terminal illness will give comfort to others watching loved ones slip away. More importantly, Monnie's story gives inspiration to those determined to harvest every possible drop of joy from even those trying last days. A Daughter Reborn takes you through the trauma of Parkinson's and cancer through journal entries, email and letters shared between a loving father and mother and their now orphaned mid-life daughter. It's an unexpected journey to fulfillment and true independence.
The topics range from the psychological responses to a parent's death such as shock, depression, and guilt, to the practical consequences such as dealing with estates and funerals.
While the death of a parent is always painful, losing both is life-altering. When author Allison Gilbert lost both parents at age 32, she could not find any books that spoke to her with the same level of compassion and reassurance that she found in the support group she belonged to, so she decided to write one of her own. The result is a sensitive and candid portrayal of loss that brings together experiences from famous and ordinary grief-stricken sons and daughters that explores the regrets, heartache and sometimes, relief, that accompanies pain and healing. Always Too Soon provides a range of intimate conversations with those — famous and not — who have lost both parents, providing readers with a source of comfort and inspiration as they learn to negotiate their new place in the world. Contributors include Hope Edelman, Geraldine Ferraro, Dennis Franz, Barbara Ehrenreich, Yogi Berra, Rosanne Cash, and Ice-T, as well as those who lost parents to the Oklahoma City bombing, the World Trade Center bombings, drunk driving, and more.
The internationally acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street gives us a deeply moving tale of loss, grief, and healing: a lyrically told, richly illustrated fable for grown-ups about a woman’s search for a cat who goes missing in the wake of her mother’s death. The word “orphan” might not seem to apply to a fifty-three-year-old woman. Yet this is exactly how Sandra feels as she finds herself motherless, alone like “a glove left behind at the bus station.” What just might save her is her search for someone else gone missing: Marie, the black-and-white cat of her friend, Roz, who ran off the day they arrived from Tacoma. As Sandra and Roz scour the streets of San Antonio, posting flyers and asking everywhere, “Have you seen Marie?” the pursuit of this one small creature takes on unexpected urgency and meaning. With full-color illustrations that bring this transformative quest to vivid life, Have You Seen Marie? showcases a beloved author’s storytelling magic, in a tale that reminds us how love, even when it goes astray, does not stay lost forever.
"From Child to Elder" explores the personal growth that can arise when a middle-aged adult loses his or her last living parent. Based on an empirical phenomenological study, this book details the complex ways in which the adult orphan's ongoing relationship to the deceased parents, combined with the unique meanings of the loss, leads to a deepening of individual autonomy and spiritual awakening. Confrontation with mortality and fundamental aloneness promotes, among other things, an increased sense of existential responsibility toward self and others as the adult orphan psychologically assumes its new role as an elder. These and many other themes are structured into an integrated whole and amplified through developmental, existential, and Jungian perspectives. The result is a compelling portrait of the processes by which the death of one's parents can accelerate psychospiritual development.
Unlike most books on grieving the loss of a parent, Bartocci takes a comprehensive approach from caring for a dying parent through finding new meaning beyond grief. She writes from experience and offers poignant vignettes approaching hard questions with compassion and a wealth of practical wisdom.
The Astor Orphan is an unflinching debut memoir by a direct descendant of John Jacob Astor, Alexandra Aldrich. She brilliantly tells the story of her eccentric, fractured family; her 1980s childhood of bohemian neglect in the squalid attic of Rokeby, the family’s Hudson Valley Mansion; and her brave escape from the clan. Aldrich reaches back to the Gilded Age when the Astor legacy began to come undone, leaving the Aldrich branch of the family penniless and squabbling over what was left. Illustrated with black-and-white photographs that bring this faded world into focus, The Astor Orphan is written with the grit of The Glass Castle and set amid the aristocratic decay of Grey Gardens.
A compassionate discussion of how adults confront the death of their parents.
Like generations of little girls, Lauren Kessler fell in love with ballet the first time she saw The Nutcracker, and from that day, at age five, she dreamed of becoming a ballerina. But when she was twelve, her very famous ballet instructor crushed those dreams-along with her youthful self-assurance-and she stepped away from the barre. Fast forward four decades. Lauren-suddenly, powerfully, itchingly restless at midlife-embarks on a "Transcontinental Nutcracker Binge Tour," where attending a string of performances in Chicago, New York, Boston, and San Francisco reignites her love affair with the ballet-and fuels her girlhood dream. What ensues is not only a story about The Nutcracker itself, but also an inside look at the seemingly romantic-but oh-so-gritty-world of ballet, about all that happens away from the audience's eye that precedes the magic on stage. It is a tale told from the perspective of someone who not only loves it, but is also seeking to live it. Lauren's quest to dance The Nutcracker with the Eugene Ballet Company tackles the big issues: fear, angst, risk, resilience, the refusal to "settle in" to midlife, the refusal to become yet another Invisible Woman. It is also a very funny, very real look at what it's like to push yourself further than you ever thought you could go-and what happens when you get there.
After Peggy Edwards, Miroslava Lhotsky, and Judy Turner published their highly successful first book, The Healthy Boomer: A No-Nonsense Guide to Midlife Health for Women and Men, they embarked on a series of workshops with health professionals and men and women in midlife. Like them, the participants often found it almost impossible to juggle the responsibilities of midlife and still find time and energy for themselves. Translating the principles of balance and good health into daily action is difficult, and the authors knew from their seminars that participants were always pleased to hear stories of struggle and success from others. It made sense, they concluded, to ask Boomers themselves the best ways to manage midlife. To get a sense of common issues in midlife and possible coping strategies, they sent out a questionnaire and conducted telephone interviews to draw out more in-depth ideas. The results are found in this book, a collection of anecdotes, quotes, and wisdom from Boomers themselves. In midlife, we start to get in touch with the fact that our time on earth will not last forever and is precious. This book provides a variety of ways of looking at this fact and of thinking about the choices ahead. There are motivating stories from Boomers (some, such as Pamela Wallin, known to many), brief updates from the scientific world, and interesting tidbits of information from the survey. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Although most of us lose a mother or father in later life, few of us are psychologically prepared for the experience. This book explores the uncharted territory each of us enters when a parent leaves us, and offers a blueprint for positive change in every aspect of our lives. It demonstrates through powerful stories (including the author's own revelatory experience) how parent loss is the most potent catalyst for change in middle age and can actually offer us our last, best chance to become our truest, deepest selves. Psychotherapist Safer challenges the conventional wisdom that fundamental change is only for the young, and that loss must simply be endured or overcome. Filled with moving and engaging stories of real men and women re-imagining themselves after a parent's death, this is a fresh, impassioned, and sophisticated look at self-transformation in later life.--From publisher description.
When most women go through a mid-life crisis, they start a diet, get plastic surgery, or have an affair. My life went to the dogs...and horses...and llamas... and did I mention happy hour with the goats? My urban world came apart, so I took a leap of faith and crash-landed on a dilapidated would-be horse farm on the flat, windy, treeless prairie of Colorado. It was a place where white horses turn pink at sunrise and I didn’t have to worry about locking the back entry to the house, because the door was missing. The biggest social event of any week was greeting the trash man on Tuesday. And what should I do about the deceased llama in the laundry room? Any decent midlife crisis has a quality of time travel, in this case swinging back to my childhood farm and my disconnected, secretive family, then forward to the animals who became my family on the prairie. My dogs and horses were soon joined by some line-dancing llamas and a biker-gang of goat kids, defying gravity and every other rule. I rescued an abused donkey who told me he was Ernest, and Windy, an un-wanted chestnut mare who became our beloved herd matriarch. Even Fred, the duck lived by a code. It’s the memoir of my bittersweet transition from a mid-life orphan to a modern pioneer woman, building an entirely different kind of family farm. Stable Relation appeals to all animal lovers, midlife survivors, and anyone whose parents had problems of their own. It’s told in a strong, bittersweet voice, sharing life and death on a small farm and the healing power of animals: James Herriot meets Janette Walls.
Developmental delays affect millions of children each year, and often go undetected until an alert and caring parent recognizes there’s a problem. In A Parent's Guide to Developmental Delays, special education expert and consultant Laurie LeComer, M.Ed., provides essential information for any parent with a child who might have cognitive, physical, or emotional delays. Easy to understand, reassuring, and up-to-date, the book covers everything concerned parents need to know. Using real-life examples and case studies along with checklists, exercises, and other hands-on advice, the book covers a range of delays and disorders that include autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, Sensory Processing Disorder, aggressive behavior, and motor-control problems. Topics include: Spotting the "red flags" of delayed development, for every age group Identifying your child’s specific challenges Acting swiftly in order to gain the advantages of early intervention Getting a diagnosis and treatment plan that fits your child's needs Working with teachers, health professionals, and specialists for maximum results Tracking your child's progress Understanding your rights and making the most of every available resource Trusting your instincts in order to help your child learn, develop, and thrive
Counseling Across the Lifespan expands the perimeters of counseling with its emphasis on preventive techniques for adjustment problems in the lifespan of a normal individual. This cogent work focuses on counseling intervention strategies from the unique perspective of an individual’s lifespan, placing techniques in the proper development context. By concentrating on life stages—from childhood through old age—the authors identify the nature and origin of various psychological issues such as self-identity and healthy lifestyle development in adolescents, family violence in young adults, or retirement transitions for older adults. The intervention tools needed to confront these issues are presented through succinct pedagogical features including case examples, checklists for evaluating clients, and exercises.
Enjoy each day with God Why study the Bible? Who are the patriarchs? Am I really saved? Is there a special way to pray? New believers have many questions. But even the most experienced believers can overcomplicate life and fill the day with more busyness than meaning. Often the little things of life show us the true character of God. In Him we can find joy and blessing if we are willing to look. Simply Blessed contains thirty-one heartfelt devotional stories for the woman seeking to know God for who He is: a loving God who longs to have a relationship with her. Kim focuses on the foundation of a woman’s faith, tackling issues she faces on a daily basis and providing joyful and practical lessons for a woman’s heart. Discover a God of relationship not religion. He is never too busy. In the humorous, frustrating, and mundane parts of life, God is pouring out His love on you.
This title makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of the many risks and vulnerability faced by orphans and the ameliorating role played by the actions of governments and donors.
A therapist and expert on grief is faced with the slow decline of her beloved mother. She imparts to the reader lessons learned, both personal and professional, in anticipating grief and the loss of a loved one. 'This is a unique book by a professional who understands the field of loss and grief ... Poignantly heartbreaking.' - Melba Vasquez, President, American Psychology Association's Division on Counseling Psychology.
In this new approach to understanding the impact of grief, Susan A. Berger goes beyond the commonly held theories of stages of grief with a new typology for self-awareness and personal growth. She offers practical advice for healing from a major loss in this presentation of five basic ways, or types, of grieving. These five types describe how different people respond to a major loss. The types are: • Nomads, who have not yet resolved their grief and don’t often understand how their loss has affected their lives • Memorialists, who are committed to preserving the memory of their loved ones by creating concrete memorials and rituals to honor them • Normalizers, who are committed to re-creating a sense of family and community • Activists, who focus on helping other people who are dealing with the same disease or issues that caused their loved one’s death • Seekers, who adopt religious, philosophical, or spiritual beliefs to create meaning in their lives Drawing on research results and anecdotes from working with the bereaved over the past ten years, Berger examines how a person’s worldview is affected after a major loss. According to her findings, people experience significant changes in their sense of mortality, their values and priorities, their perception of and orientation toward time, and the manner in which they "fit" in society. The five types of grieving, she finds, reflect the choices people make in their efforts to adapt to dramatic life changes. By identifying with one of the types, readers who have suffered a recent loss—or whose lives have been shaped by an early loss—find ways of understanding the impact of the loss and of living more fully.

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