Angel Letters

Lessons That Dying Can Teach us About Living

Book Description

Working in the children's cancer unit of a New York hospital for fifteen years, Norman Fried has been psychotherapist and counselor to both physically ill children and their worried families and friends. He has been part of scenes of bitterness and pain–and has observed how these sad moments have taught all concerned about life's important lessons. Sitting at the bedsides of children with life–threatening cancer, he has been sadly fortunate to hear their messages of hope and love, which have taught him how to help those they were leaving behind. The Angel Letters is his extraordinary book based on his experiences. It is intended for the living but is composed in the form of letters addressed to a dozen different children whose last days and months he shared intimately. From each experience he draws a lesson—in love, family, courage, belonging, etc.—that can help parents and family learn to suffer through the tragedy of their sick or lost child, drawing strength from their understanding of what has happened and from an appreciation for their child's perspective. "No story ends in death," Dr. Fried writes, "not in this book, and not in life. What happens after death is ours to ponder and struggle with. Some questions remain unanswered. But how a family lives after a death, how we as mourners can carry on–these are the questions I wrestle with here." In The Angel Letters he proves to be an inspiring companion for this difficult journey.

About Fried, Norman J.

Norman J. Fried, Ph.D., is director of psycho–social services for the division of pediatric hematology/oncology at Winthrop University Hospital/North Shore University Hospital on Long Island, New York. A clinical psychologist with graduate degrees from Emory University, he has also taught in the medical schools of New York University, Cornell University, and St. John's University, and has been a fellow in clinical and pediatric psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fried is a Disaster Mental Health Specialist for The American Red Cross of Greater New York, and he has a private practice in grief and bereavement counseling on Long Island. He is married with three sons and lives in Roslyn, New York.