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The Leveson Centre for the study of Ageing, Spirituality and Social Policy
Lost for Words: Loss and Bereavement Awareness Training

Lost for Words: Loss and Bereavement Awareness Training

John Holland, Ruth Dance, Nic MacManus and Carole Stitt,
Jessica Kingsley, 2005, 128 pages, ISBN 1-84310-324-9, £29.95.

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Review by James Woodward

This book is a model of excellent practice both in the theory and in its application to experience. It had been on my desk waiting for review when tragically we experienced the death of a young child here in this community at Temple Balsall. I was fortunate to have had some significant experience in the area of loss and bereavement but this particular tragedy posed a number of questions - how do children in the school cope with death? What practical help might they be given to cope with this particular loss? How might I engage with my own responses to this situation?

No book can answer all questions - this training package set out information in a clear and comprehensive way. Developed from collaborative multi-agency and multi-professional work with a range of professionals, the book is designed for use by trainers over the course of a day or several days. It is well organised into 21 sections providing trainers with a range of tools for awareness training. While focused upon the children, their parents and schools, material is of direct relevance to all of us who wish to think about and reflect upon death and its meanings and practices in our life.

I think that much of this material could be adapted for use for training in care homes - it is stimulating, insightful, and wise but above all, practical. I was grateful for it during this particular crisis. What better commendation can a reviewer offer?

James Woodward (Centre Director)

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