Cover image for The orphaned adult : understanding and coping with grief and change after the death of our parents.
The orphaned adult : understanding and coping with grief and change after the death of our parents.
Levy, Alexander.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Reading, Mass. ; Oxford : Perseus, 1999.
Physical Description:
x, 190 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF724.65.G73 L48 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
BF724.65.G73 L48 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Losing our parents when we ourselves are adults is the natural order of things, a rite of passage into true adulthood. But whether or not we have expected the death of our parents after a prolonged illness, were close to or alienated from them, this passage is inevitably harder than we thought it would be.A much needed and knowing 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.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

The death of one's parents is "the ultimate equal-opportunity" experience; becoming an orphan as an adult happens to nearly everybody. Yet despite the flood of self-help books on death and the grieving process, very little (with the exception of Hope Edleman's Motherless Daughters) has been written on parental loss. Incorporating his own personal experience with the accounts of others who have lost their parents, psychologist Levy examines this profound life-changing event with compassion and understanding. Since our parents "project an illusion of permanence," writes Levy, their death forces us to confront our own mortality (we are next in line to die) and to adjust to our new identities as orphaned adults. Indeed, he argues that this stripping of our childish beliefs is the first step toward true adulthood: "Perhaps only after parents have died can people find out what they are going to be when they grow up." This wise and caring book is recommended for all collections.√ĄWilda Williams, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
1 Here We Go Loop-De-Loopp. 1
2 Good Grief!p. 19
3 Just Exactly Who Do You Think You Are?p. 41
4 I'Ll Be Seeing You in All the Old Familiar Placesp. 61
5 Dearly Belovedp. 83
6 Ourfather, Who Art in Heavenp. 115
7 Stormy Weatherp. 137
8 Learning to Swimp. 153
9 The Lessonp. 177