with a guide for reading and grief groups

"A PROFOUNDLY IMPORTANT book, filled with WISE insight. When my own father dies, I think I will refer to it like a Bible."
– Michael Gurian, author of The Wonder of Boys

"A RICHLY IMAGINATIVE and innovative work.... an invaluable PIONEERING contribution that will help so many of us."
– Earl Grollman, author of Living When a Loved One Has Died

"GREAT BOOK! Timely and touching. And the good news is you've never read one like it."
– John Lee, author of The Flying Boy

"More USEFUL than the warm-fuzzies, more ACCESSIBLE than the mytho-poetic, Chethik's text examines the everyday dynamics between sons and fathers, love and loss. These are difficult frontiers. Chethik proves an able guide. We are the better for it."
– Thomas Lynch, author of The Undertaking


FatherLoss: How Sons of All Ages Come to Terms With the Deaths of Their Dads is the first-of-its kind study of men's anxieties about and responses to the deaths of their fathers. Men are often expected to respond to loss with emotional strength and presence of mind. Double standards continue to exist between women, who are expected to grieve openly, and men, who are not.

FatherLoss offers portraits of John F. Kennedy, Jr., Michael Jordan, Ernest Hemingway, and other well-known men, focusing on how they came to terms with the deaths of their fathers. But at the heart of the book are the experiences of 376 men whom journalist Neil Chethik surveyed in more than three years of research on the subject. Chethik tells us:

how a son can prepare for the loss of his father


specific strategies for coping in the period immediately following the death


the role that women can play in helping men through such a loss


four specific styles of men's grieving


how children, young adults, middle-aged men, and older men react differently to a father's death


how fathers can help prepare a son for their own death


Neil Chethik was the author of a highly popular syndicated column called VoiceMale from 1992-96. The idea for FatherLoss arose from a column Chethik published in 1995, to which reader response was enormous. His audience, it seemed, needed a forum in which to explore their experiences and hear from other men who were experiencing the same event. Surprisingly enough, this is the first, and thus far only, book to specifically address how sons deal with the death of the most influential man in their lives.


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