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The False Door between Life and Death

Supporting Grieving Students, Teachers, and Parents

Torin M. Finser

168 pp.  
6" x 9"



Published:  May 2019


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 Education 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 indispensable resource for preparing teachers, parents, and caregivers who are experiencing or likely to face a death at some time in their community.

  • Preface: The False Door
  1. Personal Experiences of Death
  2. When a Child Dies
  3. Talking with Children about Death
  4. One Day at a Time
  5. Children and Grief
  6. Spiritual Perspectives on Death
  7. The Legend of Baldur
  8. The Golden Casket
  9. More Stories that Help Children with Loss
  10. Adolescent Boys and Death
  11. The Open Door (by Karine Munk Finser)
  12. How to Stay Connected
  13. Conclusion
  • Appendices:
      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

Related Titles

  • The Bridge over the River : After Death Communications of a Young Artist Who Died in World War I
  • Life between Death and Rebirth : The Active Connection between the Living and the Dead (CW 140)
  • Staying Connected : How to Continue Your Relationships with Those Who Have Died
  • Death as Metamorphosis of Life : Including “What Does the Angel Do in Our Astral Body?” & “How Do I Find Christ?” (CW 182)
  • The Path of the Soul after Death : The Community of the Living and the Dead as Witnessed by Rudolf Steiner in his Eulogies and Farewell Addresses
  • What Happens when We Die? : Our Journey in the Afterlife

    Related Titles by Subject:

    Anthroposophy: Life & Death ; Body, Mind, Health & Healing: Life & Death ; Family: Family Life ; Family: Psychology ; Waldorf & Special Needs Education: General and Waldorf & Special Needs Education: Resources