The Spiritual Lives of Bereaved Parents
By Dennis Klass
Routledge – 1999 – 244 pages
This book describes how parents lose, find, or relocate spiritual anchors after the death of their child. It describes how ordinary people reconstruct their lives after their foundations have shifted, and how they make sense of their world after one of their centers of meaning has been removed.
Klass grounds his descriptions of spirituality in his scholarly study of comparative religions, and in his two decades studying the lives of bereaved parents. He argues that continuing bonds with their dead children can give parents a new transcendent reality. Deceased children, like saints or bodhisattvas, can offer a bridge between the profane and sacred worlds, support parents as they find meaning in a world made forever poorer, and bind together a community adequate to parents' grief.
The book reports Klass's clinical practice and his work as advisor to a bereaved parents self-help support group.