When a Child Dies: A Hopeful Healing Guide for Surviving the Loss of a Child (Paperback)
A caring and compassionate grief book for bereaved parents who have lost a child.
"This book is a lovely blend of the author's personal journey with the death of her son and supportive information that can help parents see light amidst the dark."—Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D, CT, author, educator, and grief counselor
Being suddenly thrust into the world of parental grief is like being transported to a foreign land where you don't speak the language. With that in mind, Claire Aagaard has written When a Child Dies in a simple, straightforward manner, offering information, comfort and hope for those who believe that none is possible.
Questions addressed include:
- Can we survive this?
- Is it possible to be happy again?
- Is forgiveness attainable?
- Can we survive this as a couple?
- How will this affect our loved ones?
- Is it okay to be angry with God?
- How do we cope with birthdays or holidays?
- Will my grief ever change?
- What can we do to help? (A chapter for supportive loved ones)
Claire has written this book from a unique perspective—that of a professional grief counselor after working with dozens of bereaved parents, and as a parent with her own history of child loss. It is an honest yet gentle guide for grieving parents as well as their family, friends, and loved ones, offering the wisdom from her own personal journey as well as that of countless others.
"It will not always hurt as much as it does right now. Go slowly, be gentle and forgiving, and choose your path forward with loving intention."—Claire Aagaard
About the Author
CLAIRE AAGAARD is a certified grief counselor and critical incident responder who worked as a grief counselor and educator, primarily in the hospice field, for over 20 years. She served as the Director of the Center for Loss, Education and Healing in San Luis Obispo, California.
"This book is a lovely blend of the author’s personal journey with the death of her son and supportive information that can help parents see light amidst the dark." — Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D., CT, author, educator, and grief counselor
"When a Child Dies begins with certified grief counselor Claire Aagaard’s personal story of losing her son to a tragic accident. The author skillfully explores the various ways a child’s death impacts all aspects of one’s life including relationships, anger at God, and how friends and family can help. Claire’s words are inspiring and hopeful, offering compassionate advice to grieving parents." — Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D., psychotherapist and co-author of I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye
"What I find so helpful about When A Child Dies is that Claire not only shares her son and her family with us on a deep emotional level, but she also answers multiple questions we all have in a caring yet practical way. Her book brings comfort where there seems to be no comfort, and hope where there seems to be no hope. She has opened her heart to share her grace, learning, and wisdom as well as her pain. I am grateful to have read this." — Jan Warner, author of Grief Day by Day: Simple Practices and Daily Practices for Living With Loss
"Losing a child can feel as though you’ve been shoved into an inferno. Grief counselor Claire Aagaard helps dress the wounds from a place of personal courage, helping to heal one’s burn scars. Her wisdom offers hope and tools for transforming a broken heart into a glimmer of light." — Jeffrey Friedman, MSW, Ph.D.
"Because of Claire’s personal experience with loss, the emotions she conveys allow her to connect with the bereaved while her many years as a bereavement counselor allow her to counsel with kindness and wisdom. When reading her book, I periodically felt Claire’s caring reach through her written words as if she were in the room consoling me." — Dr. David Palchak, M.D.
"There are no words to adequately express the true devastation when your child dies or how to navigate life in that devastation, but Claire's words come as close as any words can. It has been 12 years since my son Eric died. I didn't know how to help his sister and brother, his father, or his beloved girlfriend, but I had Claire. She helped all of us, and I am so very grateful." — Eilene Okerblom, grief client of Claire Aagaard
"As newly grieving parents, Claire became the tether barely holding my wife and me to the ground in the midst of a category five hurricane of sadness and despair. Knowing Claire had experienced what we had was the only thing that made her words have weight and meaning for us. Claire's book has the necessary perspective to speak to and assist parents in treading those deep, dark horrible thoughts that overwhelm you when your child dies. My one wish after the unexpected death of my nine-year-old daughter was that no one else would ever have to experience that kind of loss. Knowing that is unfortunately not possible, having a book like Claire's is absolutely necessary for survival. Thank you, Claire!" — James Friedrich, grief client of Claire Aagaard
"We lost our beautiful grown daughter and were left in an awkward space with friends and family who wanted to comfort us but lacked the words. In reading Claire Aagaard's book I found understanding, wisdom, encouragement and the hope I needed to slowly begin to move forward again. Saying good-bye to our sweet Danielle will never be okay, but I feel hope for myself and our family as we learn how to navigate life without her." — Debbie S. Jamison, grief client of Claire Aagaard