Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Stepparenting the Grieving Child: Cultivating Past and Present Connections with Children Who Have Lost a Parent by Diane Ingram Fromme is a comprehensive and informative guide for step parents facing one of the most heartbreaking of challenges. The book begins with Fromme's own experience with her now-husband's children, Brittany and Ian, six months after the loss of their mother to cancer, along with a personal back story of losses in her own history. Through three parts and twelve chapters, Fromme guides readers through the struggles she faced and creates a realistic, attainable, and intimate manual for others in similar situations. From the intricacies of understanding and coping, to communication recommendations, family meetings, and working through various stages and ages, Fromme helps lay the foundation for step parents who find themselves confronted with such a distressing dynamic.
What makes Diane Ingram Fromme's Stepparenting the Grieving Child: Cultivating Past and Present Connections with Children Who Have Lost a Parent particularly poignant is in her own story, and the stories of others. I myself lost my mother and, in turn, had a step mother enter the picture—and as a young woman on the grieving side I can absolutely see how advice like Fromme's would have been life (and relationship) saving. Fortunately for today's families, the experience and expertise that Fromme delivers in the most personal and friendly of manners could make all the difference in the world. I would recommend this book to anyone in the situation of having to fill the role of step parent to a grieving child, and hope it will be sought out by psychologists, social workers, counsellors, and anyone else who enters the professional realm of helping children and families through their grief.