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It’s difficult to know how to prepare for a journey of serious illness. The fear of death often tempts us to focus exclusively on a cure rather than preparing our families for the possibility of death. It seems easier to avoid the subject rather than face some difficult and emotional conversations. Young parents may be especially prone to avoiding the subject of death as they fight desperately to get well and to protect their children from emotional pain. They often feel they are “giving up” if they even discuss the possibility of death. However, most children cope much better with painful experiences if they are given honest information and preparation rather than protection from the pain.
Preparing the Children was written by Kathy Nussbaum, a mental health nurse practitioner who has worked with hundreds of families facing life-threatening illness and death over the past 22 years. She has walked the path with many parents and grandparents who have struggled with a life-threatening illness and fears about preparing their children.
Author: Kathy Nussbaum, RN, MS, APRN