Bereavement 2024-02-14T03:42:28-08:00 Kate Mitchell Open Journal Systems <p><em>Bereavement: journal of grief and responses to death </em>aims to improve understanding of grief, bereavement and responses to death in all their aspects and to enhance the quality of support provided to bereaved people. We publish leading new research and theory alongside articles describing the best current practices and innovations in service delivery and diverse forms of support, as appropriate for particular contexts and communities. </p> Finding light in the darkness: A journey through four miscarriages 2023-11-30T00:34:37-08:00 Ariel Gutierrez <p>This paper explores the profound emotional and physical journey of a couple in The Phillipines who faced the rare medical condition known as Repro-Immuno Deficiency (RID) while trying to conceive. The author and his wife endured the heartbreak of four miscarriages and the financial strain of various medical treatments, eventually leading to the birth of their fifth child. The paper discusses the emotional toll of repeated miscarriages, the challenges of accessing specialised medical care, and the financial burdens they encountered during their journey. It also highlights the support they received from a diverse network of individuals and the significance of their daughter as a symbol of hope and resilience.</p> 2024-04-19T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Ariel Gutierez Grief in the school: A review of a participatory project in Argentina 2023-10-06T06:24:58-07:00 Rafael Wainer Alejandro Nespral Darío-Iván Radosta <p>When a member of the education community (student, teacher, administrator) dies, there have historically been few options to process these distressing experiences inside the education environment. In this viewpoint article, we recount the historical and conceptual journey the organisation Fundación IPA (Palliative Ideas in Action) took to actively intervene in the often silenced (and frequently stigmatised) experiences of grief and bereavement in the City of San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina.</p> 2024-02-14T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Rafael Wainer, Alejandro Nespral, Darío-Iván Radosta Beyond prolonged grief: Exploring the unique nature of complicated grief in bereaved children 2023-09-13T08:31:00-07:00 Martin Lytje Atle Dyregrov <p>This article argues that the current approach to diagnosing complicated grief in children overlooks important social and personal factors that impact how children react to and cope with death. Family dynamics, community support, and individual reactions should all be considered when assessing and providing care. The article recommends a multifaceted approach to grief diagnosis that considers the child’s social environment. Helping parents navigate their own grief can support their child, and schools should create a welcoming and sensitive environment for bereaved children. By addressing these factors, negative consequences, such as social withdrawal, academic underachievement, and poor wellbeing, can be reduced.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> 2024-02-14T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Martin Lytje, Atle Dyregrov Good (virtual) grief: The potential of online communities for bereaved older adults during Covid-19 2023-07-28T05:24:35-07:00 Samantha Teichman Rachel Weldrick <p>During the pandemic, older adults were at risk of heightened social isolation and bereavement overload. However, engagement in online grief communities can facilitate meaningful social connections and promote healthy bereavement practices. This paper highlights the benefits of engaging in meaning-making, community building, and griefwork in later life. We engage with recent literature on virtual bereavement practices and discuss the ongoing potential for bereaved older adults to engage in online grief communities amid the new realities of Covid-19. We consider what it means to process grief in a virtual space and how this may shape approaches to death, dying, and bereavement during and after a global pandemic. We conclude with a call to action to develop accessible and affordable online engagement technologies for older adults to help mitigate a decline in well-being and promote healthy bereavement practices.</p> 2024-02-22T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Samantha Teichman, Rachel Weldrick Reflective evaluations of perinatal bereavement care provision in the US and UK: An exploratory qualitative comparative study 2023-08-30T03:22:44-07:00 Caroline Joy Hollins Martin Denise Côté Arsenault Gail Norris <p>There is increased recognition of the need to improve standards of perinatal bereavement<br />care, due to its frequency and potential sequelae. As part of a Fulbright Scholar award, United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) researchers collaborated to explore similarities and differences in perinatal bereavement care between two nations. Using an explorative qualitative comparative method, key categories within perinatal bereavement provision were identified and analysed. Themed findings include: (1) Differences in definitions of miscarriage and stillbirth impact care pathways; (2) For the experiencer grief is the same regardless of legal lines drawn; (3) The meaning of loss is personal and ‘fetal personhood’ needs to be acknowledged during care; (4) Appropriate psychological care is required whether miscarriage or stillbirth is experienced. We conclude that perinatal bereavement care should include screening for Postnatal Depression (PND) and Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD), and support should be equally available to all women who experience perinatal bereavement, irrespective of type of loss. Acknowledging that cultures react to loss in different ways, we recommend that strategies are developed to build human resilience. For example, Compassionate-Mind-Training (CMT), which helps people cope<br />with trauma through cultivating compassion and teaching self-care strategies to build<br />resilience, reduce self-criticism, and decrease threat-based emotions.</p> 2024-04-19T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Caroline Joy Hollins Martin, Denise Côté Arsenault, Gail Norris Screening for dysfunctional Covid-19 grief: A replication and extension 2023-07-13T06:19:37-07:00 Sherman Lee Amanda Mathis Mary Jobe Emily Pappalardo Robert Neimeyer <div class="textLayer">As Covid-19 deaths continue, so does the grief that is experienced by those impacted by such loss. Accordingly, the Pandemic Grief Scale (PGS) was created as a screening tool for health professionals to use in identifying individuals suffering from dysfunctional levels of this form of grief. With the development of this measure, this paper serves to replicate and extend the psychometric findings on the PGS, using an independent US sample of 318 adults who lost a significant person from Covid-19. The results of this study largely replicated the findings of the original PGS study by demonstrating acceptable parameters on factor structure, diagnostic and discrimination accuracy, and evidence of convergent validity. However, convergent validity support was not found with the lack of correlation between PGS scores and a measure of positive well-being. The results of this study also recommended a lower cut-score than the one proposed by the original PGS study. Overall, these results support the PGS as a psychometrically sound screening tool for assessing pandemic-related, dysfunctional grief.</div> 2024-03-26T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Sherman A Lee, Amanda A Mathis, Mary C Jobe, Emily A Pappalardo, Robert A Neimeyer Bereavement support after a drug-related death: Professional perspectives 2023-09-13T08:43:30-07:00 Monika Reime Birthe Møgster Kjersti Halvorsen <p>After a drug-related death, the bereaved are at risk of severe social and health consequences, but their need for professional support in their bereavement processes often falls under the radar. The bereaved themselves ask for continued support, and the research shows significant symptoms of prolonged grief for years after the loss. This article explores professionals’ perspectives on providing bereavement support to bereaved clients after a drug-related death. The article builds on focus group interviews with professionals from different health and welfare services in Norway who are likely to encounter the bereaved in their client work. A total of six focus group interviews were conducted, involving 29 professionals from services such as mental health and drug services, residential care, low threshold services, and medical services. The results show that bereavement support for the drug-death bereaved is perceived as demanding relational work that is not part of their primary work tasks. The work is highly individualised because formal organisational structures are lacking, which can impair bereaved peoples’ access to bereavement support. The lack of training, knowledge, and clear responsibility may lead to professionals lacking confidence and withdrawing from support initiatives in order to avoid stress and burnout.</p> 2024-03-01T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Monika Reime, Birthe Møgster , Kjersti Halvorsen Covid-19: the impact of the pandemic and resulting support needs of children and young people 2023-07-13T06:16:40-07:00 Ben Hughes Kerry Jones <p>Capacity for death awareness and death anxiety in children and young people has been previously documented, but the impact of Covid-19 and subsequent support needs are not currently known. The aim of this study was to explore children’s and young people’s experiences and responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and to identify resulting support needs that are long-lasting or ongoing. Qualitative data was collected from thirteen children aged 9-10 years old in a primary school in Northwest England and from over a hundred young people, including nine interviews, across the United Kingdom. Children were asked to draw their thoughts and feelings about the pandemic and write a short narration to accompany the drawing. A questionnaire and semi-structured interviews were used with young people aged 12-16. Thematic analysis identified four themes in the data: death anxiety; mental health; positive experiences of the pandemic; and support needs. Findings indicate the need for appropriate support and interventions with children and young people to facilitate safe spaces to express their emotions and share feelings around death, dying, and bereavement confidently in a non‑judgemental setting.</p> 2024-02-14T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Ben Hughes, Kerry Jones A spotlight on children and young people - and remembering Colin Murray Parkes 2024-01-31T02:29:37-08:00 Emily Harrop 2024-02-14T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Emily Harrop Where grief education goes to die? A response to making learning about grief, death, and loss mandatory in Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence 2023-11-19T16:00:46-08:00 Stephen C Scholes <p>This rapid response raises challenges to Dawson <em>et al</em>’s (2023) recent proposals for mandatory grief education in schools; in particular, it considers curriculum crowding, the limitations of legal mandates and initial-teacher education. It proposes collaborative working between specialist groups as a way forward.</p> 2024-02-14T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Stephen C Scholes