A key protective factor for bereaved children is quality communication with remaining significant adults. Surely we should err on the side of caution and make support available even for those who do not need it.
ARKOWITZ AND LILIENFELD REPLY: Abrams criticizes us for equating the loss of a spouse in old age with the loss of a parent in childhood. We agree that such a parallel is inappropriate; in fact, we made it clear in our article that “grief is not a one-size-fits-all experience.”
She also says that most children and teenagers will experience anxiety, depression and social withdrawal in the first two years after a major loss. Yet these emotional setbacks develop into disorders in only one out of five youngsters. That percentage confirms rather than refutes our central argument: as emotionally devastating as loss can be, resilience following such loss is the norm, not the exception.