The False Door between Life and Death

Supporting Grieving Students, Teachers, and Parents

The False Door between Life and Death
Torin M. Finser By (author)
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6.0 X 9.0 in
168 pg

EDUCATION / Special Education / Behavioral, Emotional & Social Disabilities
PSYCHOLOGY / Grief & Loss
FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Death, Grief, Bereavement


When a school community loses a child, parent, or teacher, the experience can be devastating to the whole community. Few things in life can prepare anyone for such a tragedy. Teachers and parents often struggle with how to speak with the children and may have important questions, such as:

What is the best way to work with grief?
What happens after death?
How can we stay connected?

Working through shock, grief, and even depression is a necessary step in life following a death in one’s community.

Torin Finser—long-serving faculty member of the Waldorf Teacher Edu-cation Program at Antioch University New England—presents stories, fairy tales, personal anecdotes, and even the Egyptian Book of the Dead to help children and adults deal with loss through spiritual insights into the meaning of death and suggestions for how a school community can build resilience by coming together after the loss of a colleague or fellow student.

The False Door between Life and Death is an indispensible resource to prepare teachers and par-ents who are likely to face a death at some time in their community.


Preface: The False Door

Personal Experiences of Death
When a Child Dies
Talking with Children about Death
One Day at a Time
Children and Grief
Spiritual Perspectives on Death
The Legend of Baldur
The Golden Casket
More Stories that Help Children with Loss
Adolescent Boys and Death
The Open Door (by Karine Munk Finser)
How to Stay Connected


Verses for the Dead; Mistletoe
“The Juniper Tree” by the Grimm brothers
“The Odor of Chrysanthemums” by D. H. Lawrence
When a World Tragedy Comes into a Child or Teen’s World
Bringing Death Home

Author Bio

TORIN M. FINSER, PhD, has served Waldorf education for more than four decades, first as a class teacher and later as the Director and faculty member of the Waldorf Teacher Education Program at Antioch Uni-versity New England. A former General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America, he also helped found the Center for Anthroposophy in New Hampshire. His research and writ-ings have reached people all over the world, including several books that have been translated into multiple languages. Torin has served as a consultant, workshop leader, and keynote speaker at numerous conferences. He is married to Karine, has six children, and is also now a very happy grandfather!