Letters: Helping Kids Handle Grief

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments about previous Talk of the Nation show topics, including Governor Arnold Schwarznegger on his autobiography, and how to help kids with the grieving process.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Former California Arnold Schwarzenegger joined us last week to talk about his memoir, "Total Recall." We asked callers to share their immigrant stories, but Jessica in Portland heard the interview and was bothered by the governor's reference to his illegitimate son. She wrote: For some reason, when Mr. Schwarzenegger says he made a mistake, it feels as though he's saying that his son is a mistake, and that does not sit well with me. I hear the governor talk, over and over, about his affair was the worst mistake ever. I wonder whether he considers what the consequences of this statement will be on his illegitimate son. As the product of a similar union, if I were subjected to such statement, especially if they were widespread, it would negatively affect my psyche permanently.

Our conversation about children and grief, and the best ways to help children express and deal with a death of a loved one brought this comment from Kerry Walker(ph): My husband was killed in an automobile accident in 1985. My sons were four and 18 months, and our third child was born four days after he was killed. The single most difficult thing I have done in my life was to tell each of my sons about their father's death. I provided the truth, based on their developmental skills and revisited it often throughout their lives. The journey was extremely difficult for our family, and I found that each life event also had an element where we needed to, again, discuss their dad's death. It's a continuing process even now.

Last month's tech reporter, Farhad Manjoo, joined us to talk about the lawsuit between Apple and Samsung. We asked him about the new iPhone 5, and Manjoo had this to say, it's a little bigger. It's faster. It looks really good. It's really light. People like it, but it's not in - it doesn't sort of stand head and shoulders above the market the way the first iPhone did.

Well, now Manjoo's changed his mind. In his latest column, he wrote: I've made a huge mistake. I've had the iPhone 5 for about a week and a half, and I'm still annoyed about the dock connector thing, but it's a small problem. And in retrospect, I was wrong to allow myself to become overwhelmed by dock-based frustration. That's because, in all other ways, the iPhone 5 is the best phone ever to grace the Earth. It beats every single rival on just about every metric you can think of, including speed, battery life and especially beauty and workmanship.

And finally, a correction. At the start of yesterday's program on the decline of war and violence, we cited old information in a recent office shooting in Minneapolis. Police now say a fifth victim died from injuries sustained in that shooting. That's in addition to the gunman who shot and killed himself.

If you have comments, corrections or questions for us, the best way to reach us is by email. The address is talk@npr.org. Please let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name. If you're on Twitter, you can follow us there, @totn.

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