Book Review: Parentless Parents


BY: Jodee Coulter, MT-BC

CATEGORY: Grief and Loss

Parentless Parents
By Allison Gilbert
Journalist Allison Gilbert shares her account of experiencing her mother's death from ovarian cancer; two years later, while raising her toddler daughter, she watches as her father succumbs to lung cancer. Surprised by her feelings and thoughts, she begins to notice a vast difference in her parenting style and needs as compared with her husband. She finds herself overwhelmed with feelings of jealousy, resentment and isolation.

This prompts her to conduct her own study of 1,300 parentless parents. Parentless Parents relates her findings as well as the stories of those who were interviewed. You will find comfort in their thoughts and feelings as only someone who is parentless can.

Gilbert describes the marital challenges faced when one spouse is parentless and the other isn't. She observes how family dynamics change and can be misinterpreted by siblings. Readers will learn how she has been able to soften the blow of her loss and learn to focus on the moment rather than on her continual fear of forgetting her parents.

The author offers ideas about how to keep memories alive through purposeful conversation, letter writing, sharing stories, creating quilts, memory boxes and cookbooks, as well as suggestions for helping grandchildren to create a memorial for Grandparents Day.

You will find a story to connect with in Gilbert's writings, as well as many helpful tools including a memory journal and reading recommendations for children who have lost grandparents. Parentless Parents will support you as you work your way toward peace in your loss. 

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