And the Passenger Was Death: The Drama and Trauma of Losing a Child

Author(s)Douglas Daher
PublisherBaywood Publishing Company Inc.

On June 19, 1999, at 3:00 a.m., Dr. Douglas Daher received a phone call informing him that his twenty-two-year-old son, Andrew, was dead. And the Passenger Was Death: The Drama and Trauma of Losing a Child chronicles this tragedy, from the initial delivery of the news and the first night of loss through the funeral, in a timeless encounter that tightly bound together friends and extended family. This memoir explores the emotional and cognitive terrain of grief for those who loved and were loved by Andrew. Topics focus on the family's necessary engagement with institutional tasks and requirements: the bureaucracy of insurance claims, bank accounts, and a lawsuit. Few commentaries disclose in this way the frustrations and resentments that result from the clash of intense grief with systems poorly designed to accommodate unusual circumstances. Two years after his son's death, the author only begins to emerge from grief. He describes the relationships that supported him through his journey and reviews some helpful resources. As a therapist, Dr. Daher offers this firsthand account as a special resource for professionals, to frame the grief process and to note critical themes and paradoxical opportunities for healing.

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