Hospice Lunch Bunch lecture set Oct. 4 in Milford

Register by Wednesday, Oct. 2
September 25, 2013

Delaware Hospice’s Family Support Center will hold a Lunch Bunch Lecture from noon to 1:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4, where Dr. Judy Pierson, clinical psychologist, will discuss “Living with a Broken Heart - Estranged From Your Adult Child” at the Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford.

The estrangement between parents and their adult children has been called a silent epidemic. While no statistics are kept on the prevalence of this problem, there is much to suggest it is on the rise. Websites created to allow estranged parents to connect with others have been flooded with responses.

Elizabeth Vanoni, a filmmaker estranged from her two sons, started the website Estranged Stories. She suggests the problem remains silent because parents are too embarrassed, ashamed or afraid others will judge them to talk openly about their painful experiences. An ongoing survey on her site suggests one in three parents estranged from their children have contemplated suicide.

Adult children may stop speaking with a parent for a host of reasons. These include alienation after a difficult divorce, a perceived hurt or because the child develops a mental illness, substance abuse problem or personality disorder. Sometimes adult children are influenced by a controlling and divisive partner. The pain for the parents can be almost unbearable. They’re not able to watch their children marry, become adults, or even get to know their grandchildren. Feelings of isolation and shame add further torment.

Those affected are invited to learn more about this problem, including tips for healing rifts or coping if reconciliation isn’t an option.

Lunch Bunch Lectures are organized by Delaware Hospice’s Family Support Center to help members of the community re-invest in life and are open to the public.

Registration is required as seating capacity is limited, and the cost of lunch is $5 per person.

Register by Wednesday, Oct. 2, by contacting Michele August at 302-478-5707 or