During the Christmas holiday I came across a description of the creative process which I liked very much. It gave me some reassurance that a period of confusion and not knowing is an important stage before the moment of inspiration. It is from a paper by Rosemary Gordon entitled “Death and Creativity: A Jungian Approach”
“The four stages of the creative process have been identified as follows:
First comes the stage of preparation, which is the time when a person immerses himself in a problem and feels himself drawn into a period of conscious concern and struggle; Secondly, the stage of “incubation”. It is the stage when one might say a person “sleeps on it” – either literally or metaphorically. He feels baffled, confused, ignorant. Then if he is lucky the third stage may “happen” to him. This is the stage of inspiration; it tends to arrive suddenly, unexpectedly, marked by a feeling of certitude and often accompanied by a feeling of having been a passive bystander. Naturally this is often accompanied by exuberance and ecstasy. But the fourth stage is often a sort of coming down to earth – one of verification, of critical testing and of finding relevant and appropriate expression for what had been received in the moment of inspiration.”
Those of us who grew up in the 50s and 60s would enjoy Nigel Slater’s book “Toast”. It brought back a lot of memories, here is an extract:
“Cheese and Pineapple
We rarely had visitors who stayed to eat. We had never even been to, let alone given, a dinner party, despite having a dining table that could seat twelve. But there were friends who would appear now and again, usually couples so similar as to be indistinguishable from one another. They had names like Ray or Eunice. All the men wore ties and cardigans. The women wore twinsets. The sort of women who talked about their ‘dailies’ and would never leave the house without a brooch. I do remember them all laughing a lot, but I never understood what about. Everyone was taller than me. It was as if I wasn’t there.
It was my job to pass around the room with the food. Oh God, the food. ‘Now, dear, you make certain that everyone gets a cheese football, won’t you?” my mother would say. Our place in local society seemed not to depend on whether we had a double garage (we had) or which golf club my father belonged to (he didn’t). It was more a question of whether you had Huntley & Palmer’s Cheese Footballs or not.
The pièce de rèsistance was a grapefruit spiked with cocktail sticks holding cubes of cheese and pineapple. The preparation was always a bit of a performance: draining the syrup from the tinned pineapple, cutting the cracker barrel into even-sized chunks, finding the cocktail sticks that would usually end up at the back of the gadget drawer covered in a dusting of flour. I hated doing it.
Few things could embarrass a would-be chef quite as much as having to hold out a whole grapefruit speared with cubes of Cheddar and tinned pineapple on cocktail sticks to men in cardigans.
The worst of it was that everyone thought I had done the food. ‘He wants to be a chef’, my father would say, as I held up the spiked grapefruit to the Masonic Worshipful Master’s wife, who had a tight perm and lips like a cat’s bottom. When it came to offering the dreaded grapefruit to everyone else, I would throw my head in the air and flay my nostrils in disapproval. ‘Don’t pull a face like that,’ my father once snapped ‘you look like Kenneth Williams’. But I had to let everyone know my disdain for my parents’ catering arrangements. After all, if I had done the food, they would have had prunes wrapped in bacon.”
Alongside a review of a book about evacuated children during the Second World War there was a short piece which caught my eye. It made me think how easy it is to become desensitised to the pain of children, especially in a situation where we appear to act in the “best interest of the child”. I remember hearing a description of security and safety, in relation to children. Imagine a young child who remains with his mother during the blitz. He goes with her to the air raid shelter feeling secure even though objectively he is in an unsafe situation. In contrast the child sent away to be safe moves in with a strange family and feels very insecure. What is the right thing to do?
“The Trauma of Neglect”
“Dr John Bowlby, the psychiatrist famed for his work on the effects of maternal deprivation on children, said that “the child who feels unwanted, whether this is really so or only in his imagination, will find it very difficult not to interpret his being sent away as his parents’ desire to be rid of him …. (This fear) may leave a child miserable and insecure for a long while to come”.
He said: “The children are saved from one dangerous situation only to be exposed to another …. under the conditions of indiscriminate evacuation, thousands of artificial war orphans will be added to the smaller number of children who are really orphaned by the war. It is true that these children’s loss is ‘only’ one of feeling and attachment.
But so far as their inner stability and their future psychological development are concerned, the consequences may be no less harmful”.
Bowlby observed that if all the people whom a small child knows and loves suddenly disappear, “unsatisfied longing produces in him a state of tension which is felt as shock”. Dr Dora Black, a child psychiatrist (and once an overseas evacuee herself) said Bowlby was right to emphasise the importance of keeping families together: “Removal to places of safety often cause extreme insecurity and anxiety about the fate of relatives. Not surprisingly, these powerful, negative emotions leave a lifelong trace.”
At the beginning of April Ann and I went on a walking holiday for just over a week. We walked from Siena to Florence, approximately 70 miles through beautifully maintained Chianti vineyards and olive groves. 70 miles doesn’t seem much until you do it and realise that most of it is either up or downhill. I found walking downhill harder on my knees and was thankful for having a walking pole this time, which also came in useful when crossing streams, that is, estimating whether it was deep enough to come over the top of my boots.
I need to go back to the first day of the holiday to set the scene for an inauspicious start to our holiday. This story may sound as though I’m trying to confirm the stereotype that women can’t navigate but that’s not my intention! When you are about to embark on a walking holiday navigation is crucial. We flew into Pisa airport and had to get a train to Siena which isn’t far but required two changes. It’s very cheap to travel on Italian trains in contrast to ours. Ann had been organising our holiday arrangements so I was in a passive state, prepared to be led anywhere. We’ve done this journey a couple of times and Ann had kept the notes from previous trips, supplied by the holiday company (ATG). While we were on the train she told me we had to get off at Certaldo which is a small station very near Siena, as Siena being a hilltop city hasn’t actually got a station. Certaldo sounded familiar so I was content to go along with this. When we disembarked at Certaldo I said it seemed a very quiet station for a city. I was scorned for being a “doubting Thomas”. The taxi rank was empty which increased my doubts but I remained quiescent. We could see the funicular railway about 400 yards ahead which was another way to the top of the hill so we decided to wheel our bags and take the railway. There was a familiarity about all this which made me both doubtful and content to “go with the flow”. As we were going up the railway my suspicions hardened. The familiarity was based on a previous trip, but it wasn’t Siena and when we got to the top I remembered Certaldo. We had been there on a previous holiday and Ann had been reading instructions from this holiday. The air was blue for a few minutes. I tried to catch the funicular railway going down but the barrier got in the way of our big bags, which added to my frustration. We gave up and decided to go into the village of Certaldo for lunch. How on earth we thought this was the city of Siena (which is also on top of a hill), I can’t imagine. After this episode I ceased to be passive. We eventually got to Siena, which in fact has a station, about four hours later than planned. Would this set the tone for the holiday? Would we get lost in the Tuscan forest? No we didn’t, so this was probably a timely wake-up call. I sacked the tour leader and took over (only half joking).
I had a problem with my walking boots. After three days of walking I had some awful blisters round the little toe on one foot. Out of desperation I started cutting into the inner sole of my boot and that seemed to do the trick. It’s one thing to test boots for a couple of hours, but when you are walking for six or seven hours you really know if your boots are good.
I imagined that the Tuscan spring would be a few weeks ahead of ours, but it wasn’t. They had had a hard winter so the wild flowers and trees were no further advanced. The temperature was good for walking compared to the end of May when we’ve done it before. We saw plenty of evidence of porcupines and wild boar in the forests. Our last two days of walking were bedevilled by rain, especially the last day, when we were supposed to make a grand entry into Florence. The guide book described fantastic views of the Duomo and other fine buildings as you descend from the surrounding hills. Instead, we were lashed by strong winds and pouring rain. We decided to end our holiday with some luxury and upgraded our hotel. It was very close to the Ponte Vecchio, one of the main tourist attractions. We staggered into Reception like two drowned and muddy rats. I half expected to be ejected but they must have seen ATG walkers before, even wet ones!
We had a couple of days in Florence being tourists but this wasn’t the best part of the holiday for me. Florence is packed with tourists and we were adding to the throng. The local people looked tired of it all and in the restaurants the locals were treated markedly differently, which we hadn’t encountered anywhere else on our journey. We queued to see Michelangelo’s “David” and “Pieta”, but gave up on the Uffizi gallery, as the queue was huge and very slow moving.
I would like to end my editorial with a quote from my friend and ex-colleague, Paul Van Heeswyk (Adolescent and Child Psychotherapist).
“All parents know that children need a different kind of relationship to their carers at each different stage of their lives to sustain growth. The parent of a baby relates in ways that will no longer be appropriate to the five-year-old child or to the adolescent. The challenge is always to reflect (preferably with sympathetic others) on the feelings and thoughts that come to us in response to the behavioural and verbal communications of the young people in our families, educational and therapeutic settings. Where sequences of behaviour or communications of feelings appear stuck and repetitive, or otherwise give cause for concern, it may be worth thinking what kind of change within the total relationship between child and carer may facilitate or release again a freer and more flexible movement and progress. On many occasions, this change may require only a small shift in attitude or a small alteration of behaviour on the part of the adult. After all, when a parent complains about his child’s symptoms, he may also be saying he does not feel competent, alone, to deal with the underlying problem (perhaps because it stimulates memories of his own difficulties as a child in his family of origin). Where this can be acknowledged to be the case, the observations of partners, extended family, friends or colleagues are an important resource.”
[from the Foreword to, “Therapeutic Approaches in Work with Traumatized Children & Young People” by Patrick Tomlinson.]
I like this quote because it reminds me how easy it is to get into a complaining frame of mind about young people and how a change in my attitude could make all the difference. This is why I think we all need to talk about our work with people who won’t just fall in and agree with our prejudices and assumptions.
A lot has been written recently in the Social Work press about skills needed in social care in the UK. I was especially interested in the proposal to follow the European Model of using Social Pedagogues. I first became aware of this approach 20 years ago when I went to Denmark to run some workshops for staff in a therapeutic children’s home called Egevang, which is in the suburbs of Copenhagen. What struck me was the high status given to the staff working in social care compared to field Social Workers, a complete reversal to the situation in the UK. How did they get there and how did we get where we were? The tradition of Social Pedagogy seemed to have something to do with it.
Social Pedagogues work in a way that combines social care and education. The focus is on children’s development and the way in which they interact with society. Training includes theories, as well as personal and practical skills, such as art and music, so that Pedagogues can take part in activities alongside children.
A few weeks ago there was an interesting article by Claire Cameron in Community Care about Social Pedagogy. I particularly like this extract and feel it has something to say to foster carers as well as residential child care staff.
“Pedagogues often describe themselves as working with heart, head and hands. The heart is a reference to the closeness of social relations that can develop between workers and young people, particularly when the live near each other. One example of this was a kinderhaus we visited. This was a house where a qualified Pedagogue was asked to live with a group of siblings who needed to be kept together because of their family circumstances. She recruited one or two Pedagogues to work with her and raised the children as a group while retaining her own apartment on the premises. When she married and had children of her own she continued to be responsible for the sibling group and remained committed to them throughout their childhood.
Reference to the head is to the use of reflective skills and to a body of theory to help assess the kind of action to take in particular circumstances. For the Pedagogues there are no universal solutions. Instead each situation requires a response based on a combination of information, emotions, self knowledge and theory, going from study.
The hands refer to the involvement in practical aspects of daily life, including the use of creative and practical skills as a medium for shared activities for developing social relations and providing educational opportunities. For example the young persons residential care worker, might use practical activities such as drama or music to discuss sensitive issues such as racism or aggressive behaviour. Through practical activities including holidays, Pedagogues share the life of a group of children and young people. German residential care workers have remarked that the experience of rejection by birth families make promoting a cohesive group life and a sense of belonging especially important for children in care.”
May was the month of the 60th anniversary of VE Day. Bob Holman wrote an interesting article in Community Care about the mass evacuation of children during the Second World War. Here is an extract:
“Within days of the declaration of war in September 1939, hundreds of thousands of children – I was one – were sent from the bombing danger zones, to reception safe zones. In all 6 million children were evacuated in three waves.
Before long some foster parents were complaining that the evacuees “were dirty and verminous, guilty of enuresis, soiling both by day and night and ill clad and ill shod. That some were destructive and defiant, foulmouthed, liars and pilferers.”
The complaints had two results. One was that the receiving Authorities appointed childcare visitors mainly recruited from those who had helped organise the evacuation. They were expected to see the children once a month and help the carers cope with problems. The Ministry of Health employed Regional Welfare Officers to advise the visitors. Lucy Faithful, later to be one of the great Children’s Officers was the Officer for the Midlands.
The other outcome was that researchers became interested in the subject. Susan Isaacs and her colleagues studied about 700 London children who had been evacuated to Cambridge. They concluded that the evacuees faired best with carers who were in their 30s/40s when other children were present in the home and when their own parents kept in contact.
The childcare visitors met evacuee children whose foster parents were finding them difficult. They referred some to Child Guidance Clinics for bedwetting, stealing and aggression. The Clinic at Cambridge assessed that 15% needed residential care. But Clinics did not exist in many areas and the visitors told Senior Officials that some foster parents could not cope. So, backed by grants from Central Government, Local Authorities established over 700 hostels (Children’s Homes) for disturbed children, surely, the most rapid growth of statutory residential provision in British History.”
In early August, along with Sheila, Robyn, Mark, Jim and I went to IFCO’s Conference (International Foster Care Organisation) which was held in Madison, Wisconsin. Before I go any further I ought to clarify that this is not the same Madison as “The Bridges of Madison County”. That’s in another state. Madison is a medium-sized city situated about 100 miles from Chicago, built around three small lakes (still pretty big) in the region of the Great Lakes, the nearest being Lake Michigan.
We went to the IFCO Conference to present a workshop on “Transitions”. We looked at transitions from the perspectives of the organisation, foster carers and children. I have to say I was slightly disappointed by the conference. It wasn’t as well organised as I thought it would be in the USA. There were basic timetabling mistakes which caused confusion and too many choices of workshops at some points and too little at others. I started to worry that we would have “one man and his dog” turn up when I saw some of the tiny numbers in some workshops. As it turned out, we had a respectable number in the audience.
The other reason for attending was to listen and learn from other organisations. I was impressed by an American organisation called Path Inc who had been involved with intensive fostering since the 1970s. They were committed to carers being involved in the governance of the company and told the story of how it had developed, warts and all.
Madison is a fine county. We were told that it had been voted the number one city to live in in the USA. It was not difficult to see why, with some fine buildings, good facilities, restaurants etc. The conference took place in Monona Terrace which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built on the edge of a lake. We went to the farmers’ market on Saturday, our first day in Madison. The market is situated around the perimeter of the state capital building. The market reflects the fact that agriculture is a big industry in Wisconsin and the man with the beehive hat illustrates the slightly off-beat approach to selling produce.
We had some free time during the week and took the opportunity to go to Milwaukee which is situated on the edge of Lake Michigan. It was more like the American city I imagined, with some rough edges but vibrant. There is a building by Lake Michigan where the roof is designed like the wings of a bird and it opens and closes like the beating of a bird’s wings.
By the Thursday I think we were all ready to come home but it was then that we heard that BA flights were being cancelled because of a dispute with the catering company. The last thing any of us wanted was to be stranded there for a few more days. We flew back on the Saturday evening, having been given vouchers to buy our own food for the journey. We had half a day in Chicago while waiting for the flight. The overhead railway reminded me of the film, “The French Connection”, and I fully expected to see Popeye Doyle dashing down the street, gun blazing. Robyn had a Marilyn Monroe moment while walking down the street!
In August there was an interesting short piece written by an experienced foster carer in the magazine, Children Now, under the heading “Judgement Call”.
Judgement Call – THE DILEMMA
Guidelines to foster carers often say they should not touch the children in their care. But is it right not to comfort a child physically who is upset and clearly wants a hug?
An experienced foster carer explains why she didn’t hug in just such a situation, but why in hindsight she believes she should have.
Before moving to an independent fostering organisation, I happily fostered a seven-year old boy. However, by following my local authority’s training and rules, I believe I got something very wrong with this child.
One night, the two of us were watching a programme on TV that was proving to be poignant for him, and I could see he was feeling sad. Slowly, he started inching towards me. Everything in me felt an urge to cuddle and comfort him but I had been instructed not to touch the children I looked after. As he came closer I froze – I didn’t know what to do because it seemed so wrong to refuse him the physical affection he wanted. Then I thought, he’s only seven and I wouldn’t deprive my own children. However, I didn’t hold him.
Now, older and wiser, I believe this was a mistake. Of course, there’s no question that touching children is a matter for careful attention. When young children have been treated badly, it would be easy for them to misinterpret intentions. Physical affection might mean something different than we expect or intend. For me, the key to this situation is adult awareness of our own needs and of what our actions might mean to the child. Respectful and thoughtful is the way forward.
As is often the case, well-founded principles get distorted as they pass through layers of interpretations, bureaucracy and fear. Legislation seeks to protect children from harm but what a shame to cast out the beneficial in trying to eliminate the harmful. What’s more, given that traumatised children are alert to the emotional temperature around them, they will know when adults are scared or unsure of being with them but won’t know why. So the risk of a child sounding an alarm because they feel unsafe increases.
People working with children need their own support systems to talk about their feelings and anxieties, and we need to talk about this type of situation and feel confident about it. Dreadful things can happen to children in care as well as anywhere else but what a shame if never being hugged by someone who likes you and means you no harm is one of them. Who do we think we’re protecting?
Children Now, 17 – 30 August 2005
Your Far Eastern correspondent has just returned from the Far East, where he spent 2 weeks perspiring constantly, apart from when he was sitting in a fridge.
I nearly started my holiday under lock and key. We tend to indulge ourselves with the “meet and greet” service at Heathrow, so that our car is parked for us. We had arrived early so I was trying to kill a few minutes by parking on the side of the road. I’d only been there a couple of minutes when armed anti-terrorist police checked me out, clearly irritated that I’d stopped there. However, it was also reassuring to experience their vigilance.
I think I was the only person not to sleep on the Jumbo during the 13 hour flight to Singapore. I watched a good film, “The Cinderella Man” staring Russell Crowe. It was about boxing during the Great Depression. I’d only been in Singapore a couple of days when I had a shocking experience. Quite a few people have dogs but exercising them can be a problem as Singapore is short on open spaces. In a park near my daughter’s house there is a fenced exercise area where the dogs can be let off the lead and race around. My son-in-law invited me to exercise their 2 dogs. There were dogs of all shapes and sizes racing around, chasing each other. Suddenly a scene which seemed playful became savage when a husky-looking dog grabbed a small dog and shook it to death. No one could stop it and there was a stunned silence in the park. It was a shocking reminder that some dogs can be dangerous in some situations. My grandson wanted to protect their 2 dogs by leaving immediately.
From Singapore we flew to Cambodia, to Siem Reap in particular. This city is close to the ancient temples of Angkor Wat. The main street was flooded from the previous night’s rain, reminding us that it was still the rainy season. The people were very friendly but I couldn’t get out of my mind the atrocities that took place there just a few years before. There were many landmine victims begging in the streets or busking by making music in small bands.
We had the same driver for a couple of days who took us to all the temples. He was a very nice, gentle man, who spoke pretty good English and was very informative. He became most animated when talking about football and he supported Liverpool and Sunderland, of all places. I couldn’t work out why. Ann gave him some Manchester United stickers, which were originally my grandson’s and he immediately stuck a picture of Roy Keane on his sun visor.
What were some of the impressions while driving around?
The roads were awful and non-existent at times. Gangs of women and men repairing roads, carrying hardcore in wicker baskets. Primitive huts on stilts by the roadside. Water buffalo wallowing in pools and fields. Children swimming in pools. Pigs tethered. Men and boys fishing with nets and baskets in the paddy fields. Waterways clogged with vegetation. Amidst the poverty of the villages children going to school looking smart in their clean white shirts and black skirts or trousers.
Our driver then took us to the “floating village” which borders one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. It was during this trip that we had one of our most startling, fascinating and saddening experiences. The boat we hired came to a stop and all we could see were one or two boats in the distance. From there some children started to paddle towards us in nothing more than large saucepans to beg for money. This contrasted strongly with the world of risk assessment from which I had come.
We spent our last day in Cambodia, exploring Siem Reap itself. The tuktuks are different to the ones found in Thailand, which are in effect 3 wheeled scooters. In Cambodia the carriage part is bolted on to the back of a moped. I’m not sure how safe they are but I guess it has the advantage of the owner being able to unhitch and use the moped normally. We spent a couple of hours in the old market which is a warren of stalls crammed very close together. There is no air conditioning here so you can imagine the stifling atmosphere. All tourists have to trade in US dollars as the Cambodian currency is virtually worthless. It seems to me that tourism is a mixed blessing. It appears to widen the gap between rich and poor. The hotels springing up everywhere help push up the price of produce in the markets, which affects the locals. However, they also create jobs.
I am proud to say that I ate my way through a seven course Khmer menu (and lived to tell the tale) which included dried snake and frog. Ann couldn’t cope with the frog.
Returning to Singapore was a shock as it is such an ordered, clean and wealthy country. There is quite a large Indian population in Singapore and they were celebrating Divali, a Hindu festival with lights, held in October and November to celebrate the end of the monsoon. One of the events during this festival, which took place at the Hindu temple, was for the men to walk on hot coals. We saw a lot of men limping around having walked through the coals. I got talking to a Chinese man in a nearby shop and he clearly didn’t approve of demonstrating one’s faith by the self-infliction of pain.
I heard a shocking story from my daughter, Eleanor, a couple of weeks ago. It caused me to re-evaluate my own worries and frustrations, realising how trivial they seem in comparison. It is usual for “expat” families to have a live-in maid. These maids seem to come mainly from the Philippines. Eleanor has a maid, Theresa, who has lived and worked in Singapore for more than 12 years. She can earn much more money than any of her family members, of either gender, in the Philippines. The real price she paid was the abandonment of her own children. She left her children when the youngest was a toddler and they were brought up by their grandparents. At best she would return only once a year for a week or two. However, the extended family depended on the money she could send them. This is a common story among the maids in Singapore. You can probably imagine the debates I have had about the ethics of this practice. However, Eleanor is a generous employer which is quite unusual. When we were last in Singapore I read an article which claimed that only 10% of maid’s had a day off a week.
About 4 months ago Theresa’s niece left the Philippines to work as a maid in Singapore. I was shocked to hear that she was a qualified teacher and had a three year old daughter and yet the inequalities of wealth between countries made the departure for Singapore seem a good option. During the four months that her niece was in Singapore Theresa hadn’t heard from her and was feeling increasingly concerned. Theresa eventually confided in Eleanor and they decided to go in search of her niece. Theresa wasn’t completely sure where she was living. Eventually they found it, on the 11th floor of a tall apartment block. She was living and working for a Chinese family, consisting of three generations. She hid on the floor of Eleanor’s car in case the family saw her talking to them. She then told a story of Dickensian proportions. She had not had any time to herself, constantly at the beck and call of the family, with only 4 hours sleep a night. She was given very little money and no opportunity to spend it. She was covered in bruises from all members of the family taking out their frustrations on her. She was given very little food and was clearly not in good shape. Eleanor and Theresa decided to “rescue” her there and then. This is not an easy thing to decide to do as the odds are stacked against maids. If they make a complaint they risk being deported. It also meant breaking the contract with the agency who brought her over, so she had to be bought out of the contract. Anyway, to shorten the story, she is now staying with my daughter, under the watchful eye and care of Theresa. During the next two to three months they hope to find a good expat family for her.
One of the key components of therapeutic childcare is to encourage/facilitate open communication with children. The following extract is from a paper by Clare Winnicott entitled “Communicating with Children”, written in l964
What are we aiming at in communicating with children?
We are not aiming to collect information or to take a case history, although of course we do all the time incidentally collect information about the children and gradually piece together their life story as seen by themselves. This is important to us, and to the children, because it helps us in our assessment of their problems, and it helps them to become aware of continuity. But behind this, our real aim is to keep children alive, and to help them to establish a sense of their own identity and worth in relation to other people. By keeping children alive I am of course referring to maintaining their capacity to feel. If there are no feelings there is no life, there is merely existence. All children who come our way have been through painful experiences of one kind or another and this has led many of them to feel angry and hostile, because this is more tolerable than to feel loss and isolation. Our work, therefore, is not easy because it will lead us to seek contact with the suffering part of each child, because locked up in the suffering is each one’s potential for living and for feeling love as well as feeling hate and anger. To feel a sense of loss implies that something of value, something loved, is lost, otherwise there would be no loss. Awareness of loss therefore restores the value of that which is lost, and can lead in time to a reinstatement of the lost person and loving feelings in the inner life of the child. When this happens, real memories, as opposed to fantasies, of good past experiences can come flooding back and can be used to counteract the disappointments and frustrations which are also part of the past. In this way the past can become meaningful again. So many of the children we meet have no sense of past and therefore they have no sense of the present and of the future. The child who has reached his or her own loving potential is then in a position to discover new loving relationships in the present and the future. If we attempt to reassure children and to jog them out of their despair we can deprive them of the chance to reach their own potential, ie to reach the love they were capable of before they suffered loss.”