Losing a Parent: Passage to a New Way of Living

Overview

Kennedy shares her own story of facing the loss of a parent and offers innovative strategies for healing and transformation.

Most people will have to deal with the death of a parent; few are prepared to. Addressing this incomparable loss, Kennedy shares her own compelling story and offers innovative strategies for healing and transformation.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Paperback (1st ed)
$10.66
BN.com price
(Save 33%)$16.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (140) from $1.99   
  • New (14) from $1.99   
  • Used (126) from $1.99   
Losing a Parent: Passage to a New Way of Living

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.49
BN.com price

Overview

Kennedy shares her own story of facing the loss of a parent and offers innovative strategies for healing and transformation.

Most people will have to deal with the death of a parent; few are prepared to. Addressing this incomparable loss, Kennedy shares her own compelling story and offers innovative strategies for healing and transformation.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062504982
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/1991
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 644,587
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexandra Kennedy, M.A. (LMFCC), whose father died of cancer in 1998, is a psychotherapist, lecturer, and workshop leader. She maintains a private practice in Santa Cruz, California.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt


A Journey Through Grief

The death of a parent is one of the most significant events of our lives. Whether your parent is dying, or has died recently or many years ago, you may be struggling to go on with your life while knowing deep down that something momentous has happened. You may feel buffeted by unbearably intense feelings -- anger, sadness, loneliness, despondency, even joy. You may feel numb, curiously unaffected by the death of your parent. Chances are that you have tried hard to put this event behind you too quickly, without tapping its transformative and healing potential.

Or you may feel a need to begin preparing for the loss of your parents, even when they are healthy. You may have been watching your parents grow old for some time, their bodies slowly or rapidly disintegrating, a glaring reminder of their mortality. Too often we avoid even thinking about the death of our parents, leaving the dread to fester inside. If we do not die first, someday we will be forced to confront their deaths and we may not be prepared. It is liberating to confront our denial and accept that our parents will die -- perhaps within the next few years or even months. Then we can see the wisdom of learning effective strategies for grieving now. Then we realize that we need to tend to the unfinished business with our parents now, to say to them what we have held back -- before it is too late.

As you hold this book, you may feel resistance welling up and think, "I don't have time . . . this would be too overwhelming . . . if I let myself grieve, my life would fall apart . . . something like this would interfere with my other commitments . . . I'm not feeling anything now, so why not leave well enough alone . . . time will take care of everything." This resistance is natural; you are bound to feel it in the face of such powerful forces. Many clients and participants at workshops have expressed their fear that they will be overwhelmed by their grief and left unable to cope in other areas of their lives. Some were concerned that once they started crying they would not be able to stop. Some feared they would go crazy. These same people were relieved to discover the benefits of devoting short periods of time to grieving every day, finding a rhythm of grieving and attending to daily tasks. This approach provides an opportunity to explore the many dimensions of grief without having to abandon your daily responsibilities and commitments.

Even in the face of your resistance, deep down you probably recognize that the loss of your parent has made an indelible mark on your life. This event has changed you; you will never be the same.

The death of a parent is a shattering experience, wounding us and flooding us with powerful forces. The boundaries of our world are torn away, and suddenly life seems bigger than we might ever have imagined, terrifyingly bigger. A parent's death can shatter us, leaving lifetime scars, or it can shatter our limited sense of ourselves, opening up our world into new dimensions. For the latter to happen we must be willing to take a journey through our grief, following what may often seem like a long, dark passage that will, in its own time, open out into vast new worlds.

In the following pages I have shared the struggles, frustrations, woundings, healings, and discoveries of my own journey through grief. Many parts of my story will resonate with your own experience; other parts may seem foreign. At times you may feel inspired or comforted, at other times disturbed or shocked. My story is not intended to be a typical one but is offered as an illustration of the potential for healing and transformation inherent in grief.

After each chapter of my story, you will find exercises and suggestions that can help you explore the healing possibilities through your own passage and prepare you for the momentous discoveries that await you as you emerge into a greater life on the other side.

There is a progression to the exercises, so you may want to familiarize yourself with one section before moving on to the next. Take your time; you may spend days or weeks on one section, exploring the exercises over and over, deepening the experience. Other sections may seem less relevant to your particular needs at this time; you can return to these later. Remember that your experience of grief is unique, even though it may have certain universal features. Feel free to improvise, change, or modify any of the exercises as you feel inspired. Don't hold on to one approach; be willing to let it go when it has served its purpose of healing. Grief is a process of letting go -- not just of a loved one but also of concepts, ways of doing things, and experiences.

This, then, is your own journey. You will be provided with a map that delineates the territory to be explored, provisions to sustain you, and basic guidelines to make the passage easier. However, the journey will be a unique experience for each of you; there is so much territory to explore, much of it uncharted. Even well-traveled trails yield new sights and perspectives through different eyes. As on any journey, some of you will hesitate to begin, others will plunge in, some will move slowly and carefully step by step, and others will rush ahead. There will be places of easy passage as well as the inevitable difficulties. Some of you will turn back after the first testings; others will choose to continue on. To all of you, however you make the journey, I wish you healing along the way -- a healing into life, and perhaps into a greater life than you ever could have imagined.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2011

    Recommended for Adults Who Lost a Parent

    I am 22 years old and lost my father recently, about 9 months ago. The loss came unexpectedly and suddenly. Since then, I have been looking for a book to help me deal and cope with loss. Unfortunately, this book was not for me. This book is great for adults, not young adults. It is also great for those whose parents have been suffering with a long-term diseased, and not really for someone whose parents have passed away unexpectedly (my dad had an aortic dissection).

    I chose this book because it was referred to as another book to read in 'When Parents Die'. At first glance I thought this book was going to be helpful, but as I continued to read the book I realized that it was not really helpful, although I did find some helpful tips in this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2007

    A reviewer

    A powerful personal story that offers lovely meditations and exercises to help with the deep loss of a parent. A heartfelt guide that offers the reader a way to find peace and to redefine themselves after one of the most profound changes we will all face. Thank you for your insight and healing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2007

    the book I will send to friends who lose a parent,

    Losing A Parent is a mystical road map with tremendous practical value. It says, 'open to the world beyond what you can see, and that world opens to you.' When I consider this book's many gifts, I am reminded of a William Blake verse, 'May God us keep / From single vision and Newton's sleep!' No single perspective--whether psychological, physical, cultural, or spiritual--has been adequate to help me make sense of the death of a loved one. I need all of them, and Losing A Parent is one of the few places I have found them all honesty represented. Alexandra Kennedy shares her spiritual experience of her father's death as openly as she addresses the clinical realities of hospitals and illness. I am grateful for the author's courage in sharing her journey because it affirmed my own experience when a parent was dying. Grappling with seemingly conflicting realities--the coldly clinical, the deeply sorrowful, the inexplicably wondrous--felt chaotic and crazy-making. It was so tempting to take refuge in the simplistic. Losing A Parent reminds me of what I would have forfeited. Alexandra Kennedy didn't let 'Newton's sleep' dull her senses and numb her soul. Chapter by chapter, she acknowledges the turmoil and plunges in. She points to a larger reality just beyond the mind's grasp. She guides the reader in finding their own entrance to that world. And she describes the healing, insight and joy that waits there. There are unseen doors worth opening. Alexandra Kennedy shows us how. I am deeply thankful that she does so.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2007

    Inspiring and helpful

    A movingly well-written and deeply personal account of stepping through stages of coming to terms with the death of her father. Every other chapter provides specific exercises and suggestions for working with one¿s own process of grieving. The alternating chapters give a glimpse into an imaginative realm of inner journeys. As Ken Ring says in his introduction, ¿the ultimate purpose is really to make us mindful of how woefully unprepared most of us are to confront the death of a parent,¿ and to provide a wealth of techniques for addressing this central issue of healing, over a period of years. I sensed through this account that grief can be a guide, and as she says, ¿we realize how much more there is to life and that we have been living only a small and limited portion of all the possibilities inherent within this magnificent and mysterious universe.¿

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2007

    Highly Recommended

    As a psychologist, I am very picky about the self-help books I recommend to my clients. This is highly recommended because the author is clear, complete, supportive, practical, and compassionate. When someone has recently lost a parent, they are not in a position to read very much. However, their friends are and this book provides a wonderful guide to how to be supportive and understanding.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2007

    Personal, and a Healing Guide

    A movingly well-written and deeply personal account of stepping through stages of coming to terms with the death of her father. Every other chapter provides specific exercises and suggestions for working with one¿s own process of grieving. The alternating chapters give a glimpse into an imaginative realm of inner journeys. As Ken Ring says in his introduction, ¿the ultimate purpose is really to make us mindful of how woefully unprepared most of us are to confront the death of a parent,¿ and to provide a wealth of techniques for addressing this central issue of healing, over a period of years. I sensed through this account that grief can be a guide, and as she says, ¿we realize how much more there is to life and that we have been living only a small and limited portion of all the possibilities inherent within this magnificent and mysterious universe.¿

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2003

    Not what I expected or needed

    This book is about reconnecting with a parent, after death, through shamanism and visualization. If you're into it, it might be what you need. Personally, I feel like I wasted my money, because the 'intro' doesn't mention anything about this. She delves into her own experience of how she 'reconnected' with her father, through a series of psychic travels into a mystical realm, with spirit guides. Not a practical help by any means. If you want to read it, I would suggest checking it out of the library. I will be donating my copy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)