Mediating Grief: Postmortem Ritualization After Child Death

Joanne Cacciatore, Melissa Flint

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to better understand the benefits of ritualization for bereaved parents and the factors that influence ritualization. Through phenomenological analyses of 19 in-depth interviews with bereaved parents, the results of this study reveal that bereaved parents engage in ritual to (a) maintain continuing bonds with their child, (b) help them cope by offering them a sense of control, and (c) provide a means toward posttraumatic growth by honoring and memorializing their child. These factors, in turn, appear to mediate grief through meaning reconstruction in the aftermath of the child's life and death within the context of social and cultural influences. Implications for providers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-172
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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