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November 24, 1975

A Death in the Family: The Impact on Children

JAMA. 1975;234(8):865-866. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260210073036

WITH the incessant discussion of death and dying in the lay press, physicians will receive more and more requests for help. Consider the following inquiries I received during the past few months from adults seeking to help children to cope with the death of an important adult in their life.

Mrs. Adams, mother of an 8-year-old, asks, "I don't know what to do. My daughter's second-grade teacher died yesterday. She was a wonderful person. All the children loved her. Susy insists she wants to attend the funeral. Should I let her go? Won't it be frightening for her?"

Mr. Brown, the father of 4-year-old Bobby, says, "My son knows his mother is very sick, for she has been in and out of the hospital many times in the last year. She will probably die within the next week. I have told him that his mother may die, and that we

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