Understanding Bereaved Parents and Siblings

Book Description

Understanding Bereaved Parents and Siblings is based on lived experiences and provides insight, ideas, and inspiration on how to support the bereaved, how to talk to them about their experience, and how to help people manage their own shock or grief.

Part I of the book contains ten stories from parents and six from siblings sharing their experiences. Each narrator discusses their relationship with the person who died; what led up to the death; the impact of the loss on the speaker; as well as what helped and what hindered them in their grief. Part II is aimed at professionals and draws on various topics such as grief and bereavement models, transgenerational loss, resilience, protection, and creative ways of working with grief.

The book will be an essential read for the bereaved and the professionals, family, and friends who are supporting them.

Cost: £24.99 including postage to the UK


'Grief can be shattering, immobilising and erode a sense of self and the profound impact on parents and siblings can be long-term; we know this. However, it can also provide an immeasurable opportunity for reflection, insight and change. As such, while grief can last a lifetime, it can also be a transformational experience. Cathy McQuaid, in this superbly written text – that skilfully manoeuvres between moving insight and academic authority – provides us all with a new narrative of grief, which has the opportunity to change and shape our future understanding.'

Dr Andrew Reeves, Associate Professor in the Counselling Professions and Mental Health, and BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist


'A well-researched, sensitively written and diverse account of the phenomenology of the death of a child/sibling, a taboo subject. It’s uniqueness rests in the detailed, highly varied, personal accounts of loss. The author makes a highly significant contribution towards the lifting of this taboo.

This book will interest anyone in the fields of mental-health, general practice, social work, nursing, paediatrics, bereavement/social studies. It will also be valued by bereaved parents/siblings. All these groups will read moving stories of forms of resilience in the most challenging of experiences.'

Robin Hobbes, UKCP Registered TA Psychotherapist, Co-Founder of Elan and EATA Ethical Advisor 


'In writing from her heart, Cathy McQuaid shares with the reader her personal loss, which led to research, as an anchor in her unmoored world. This moving and profoundly sensitive book is grounded in unfolding stories of the experiences of others as ways to make sense of these events, courageously giving voice about their loss.

This unique book offers a three-fold reader interest: for parents and siblings experiencing similar tragedies, for professionals and students to enhance their learning and for family members and friends of bereaved parents and siblings, weaving a delicately framed tapestry of help to support the bereaved.'

Dr Kathy Raffles, FBACP, FNCP, Counsellor, Supervisor, and Trainer


'Dr Cathy McQuaid has written a most comprehensive book with many coping strategies and many ways to best remember our loved ones. I know you will gain strength from reading her book.'

Gloria Hunniford, OBE

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