Bereavement <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> en-US <p>This article first appeared in Bereavement online [date]</p> (Edwina Rowling) (Edwina Rowling) Mon, 13 Feb 2023 04:02:51 -0800 OJS 60 The one thing guaranteed in life and yet they won’t teach you about it': <p>Nearly all British children will be bereaved of someone close to them by the time they turn eighteen and, with the COVID-19 pandemic and world humanitarian crises across the news and social media, they are being exposed to more anxiety about death than ever before. There is a growing awareness that grief education needs to be embedded into the UK national curriculum to help school pupils think and talk about death and prepare them to manage grief or support others. As it stands, although excellent teaching resources exist, there is no requirement for schools to cover grief, death and loss and many pupils have no classes about these difficult topics.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This article provides a narrative review of research on grief education in schools. We examine six key questions, summarising: evidence that children benefit from talking about grief, death and loss; studies on when and how to integrate the topics into the curriculum; and ways to overcome the teacher training gap. Following the lead of child bereavement charities and educational and mental health research, we identify a need for a coordinated national approach to teaching children and young people about grief, death and loss and offer evidence-based recommendations for its implementation.</p> Lesel Dawson, Rachel Hare, Lucy E. Selman, Tracey Boseley, Alison Penny Copyright (c) 2023 Lesel Dawson, Rachel Hare, Lucy E. Selman, Tracey Boseley, Alison Penny Wed, 12 Apr 2023 00:00:00 -0700 ‘It would be quite good if there was somewhere that just did everything’: perspectives on death administration following a bereavement <p>‘Death administration’ is a term used to describe the wide range of tasks which must be completed after a loved one has died, such as registering the death and obtaining a death certificate. This involves fulfilling a complex set of time-sensitive procedures during a period of often intense vulnerability, which further compounds the stress and upset felt when grieving. Using data from a qualitative study exploring people’s experiences of carrying out tasks related to death administration in the UK, this article seeks to demonstrate some of the problems inherent within the process. In doing so, it highlights some of the ways that the unavoidable challenge of completing death administration can be made less burdensome, both physically and emotionally, for those tasked with its undertaking. As such, this paper offers new insights into an aspect of being bereaved that is currently overlooked, but in much need of improvement.</p> Laura Towers, Kate Reed, Anna Balazs Copyright (c) 2023 Laura Towers, Kate Reed, Anna Balazs Mon, 23 Oct 2023 00:00:00 -0700 Support after stillbirth: Findings from the Parent Voices Initiative Global Registry Project <p>The need for respectful bereavement care following a stillbirth has been poorly recognised within global public health initiatives. To date, there has been no comprehensive cataloguing of providers that support parents after stillbirth, nor any review of the challenges they face. We aimed to identify providers (organisations and point persons) that support bereaved parents worldwide and to investigate the challenges they face.</p> <p>A systematic global online search was conducted to identify providers of support after stillbirth. Subsets of providers were surveyed and interviewed. These were purposively sampled to achieve diversity in geography, organisation size and point person role. Challenges in providing support in six key areas – stigma, funding, reach, policy, workforce, and advocacy – were analysed thematically.</p> <p>Overall, 621 providers from 75 countries were identified. No support providers were identified in 123 countries, and in the 6 countries that carry almost half of the global burden of stillbirths, only 8 support providers were found. Support providers faced challenges in accessing funding, reaching key populations, and training and retaining staff, while complex policies hampered bereavement care. Support providers were challenged by silence and stigma around stillbirth. Overcoming these challenges requires collaboration, effort, and political will at local and international scales.</p> Vicki Ponce Hardy, Alexandra Beedle, Sam Murphy, Claire Storey, Neelam Aggarwal, Rakhi Dandona, Alka Dev, Patricia Doherty, Alexander Heazell, Mary Kinney, Sara Nam, Paula Quigley, Sue Steen, Linda A. Vanotoo, Susannah Leisher, Hannah Blencowe Copyright (c) 2023 Vicki Ponce Hardy, Alexandra Beedle, Sam Murphy, Claire Storey, Neelam Aggarwal, Rakhi Dandona, Alka Dev, Patricia Doherty, Alexander Heazell, Mary Kinney, Sara Nam, Paula Quigley, Sue Steen, Linda A. Vanotoo, Susannah Leisher, Hannah Blencowe Tue, 25 Apr 2023 00:00:00 -0700 The impact of Covid-19 on bereavement care in Ireland: A national survey of bereavement care providers. <p>Objectives: To a) describe bereavement care providers' experience of demand and type of need for bereavement care during the first year of the pandemic; b) describe the self-assessed impact on care providers; c) identify service adaptations and challenges currently faced.</p> <p>Methods: Data was collected via an online survey of Irish bereavement service workers (n=199) during the 2021 level 5 restrictions enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>Results: 47% of respondents noted an increase in the demand for their service, with many reporting higher levels of distress and more complex needs among service users. 47% reported an increase in the emotional impact of the work. Many service providers altered their service provision and/or developed new services, in part, to meet the changing pattern of need. The positive changes and opportunities resulting from the pandemic were also noted, some of which they intended to continue post-pandemic.</p> <p>Conclusion:&nbsp; The pandemic and related restrictions shone a light on the way we die and grieve in Ireland. With the current focus on bereavement, now may be the time to develop a national policy for bereavement care, which should provide direction for service provision and pathways, alongside public education to meet bereavement needs.</p> Amanda Roberts, Orla Keegan, Ingrid Holme, Maura Keeting Copyright (c) 2023 Amanda Roberts, Orla Keegan, Ingrid Holme, Maura Keeting Wed, 06 Sep 2023 00:00:00 -0700 The experience and support needs of adult family members who face a sudden adult death: A systematic review study <p>This systematic review explored the experiences of adult family members with support from professional service providers when faced a sudden death of an adult family.</p> <p>The reviewers used Joanna Briggs Institute methods, tools and software. Database searches were carried out, including in ASSIA, CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsychArticles. These were supplemented with searches of e-thesis databases, and specialist law sites. Studies were identified for inclusion if they were qualitative, written in English and published between 1990 and December 2021.</p> <p>The review identified family members received support at the time of a sudden death from a range of sources.&nbsp; However, there are differences in timing and content and for some relatives, barriers to access and unmet needs.&nbsp; Experiences of support from professionals were varied and some had more positive outcomes than others.&nbsp; A relationship between the family member and the professional perceived as supportive led to benefits in relation to processing grief.</p> <p>While informal support and information is essential for relatives, anticipation of needs and appropriate responses require regulated professionals and organisations who encounter the bereaved to be visible, accessible, skilled and able to respond.&nbsp; It is recommended this is formalised in standards or protocols for support in relation to sudden death situations.</p> Audrey Stephen, Fiona Baguley Copyright (c) 2023 Audrey Stephen, Fiona Baguley Wed, 06 Sep 2023 00:00:00 -0700 ‘Doing the same puzzle over and over again’: a qualitative analysis of feeling stuck in grief. <p>2022 has witnessed a crescendo of controversial debate in grief and bereavement research, surrounding the inclusion of Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) in the revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V-TR). Criticisms of the inclusion of PGD focus on the potential for diagnosis narrowing the range of healthy functioning and any treatment gains associated with a PGD diagnosis being outweighed by the risk of pathologising individual differences and diversity in human behaviour (Ben-Zeev, Young &amp; Corrigan, 2010). This qualitative research approaches ‘stuckness’ in grief from a non-pathologising, inductive and curious position that embodies the core, humanistic values of Counselling Psychology (Cooper, 2009). Four participants who reported feeling stuck in grief were interviewed and the resultant transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The four superordinate themes: (<em>‘Eclipsed by the deceased’; ‘The power in powerlessness’; ‘The double-edged sword of coping behaviours’</em> and <em>‘Living in Purgatory’)</em> reveal novel insights into the significance and consequences of living with unresolved dilemmas of grieving. Findings support a meaning reconstruction approach to grief therapy and highlight the negative implications of holding a pathologising, time-limited, stage-based conceptualisation of grief. Implications for practice include combining person-centred therapy with targeted cognitive-behavioral grief interventions.&nbsp;</p> Lucy Poxon Copyright (c) 2023 Lucy Poxon Mon, 13 Feb 2023 00:00:00 -0800 Psychometric properties of the Persian version of the pandemic grief scale <p>This study evaluated the Persian version of the Pandemic Grief Scale (PGS) psychometric properties in a sample of 473 people who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The scale was internally consistent with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.86. The PGS found a positive and significant correlation between the Patient Health Questionnaire-4 (PHQ-4) and Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS). Furthermore, the unidimensional model had a good fit. Overall, the PGS showed good psychometric properties in the Iranian population.</p> Ebrahim Nasri, Shahab Yousefi, Peyman Mayeli , Ahmad Ashouri Copyright (c) 2023 Ebrahim Nasri, Shahab Yousefi, Peyman Mayeli , Ahmad Ashouri Mon, 13 Feb 2023 00:00:00 -0800 Reflections on some learning from the Covid-19 pandemic: <p style="font-weight: 400;">The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the significance of pre-bereavement care for families and children, especially when faced with parental death. Holistic family care tailored to meet the needs of the particular crisis the family face is hugely challenging for practitioners to provide whilst also caring for patients. Parents need specific support which is appropriate to their children’s needs for information, expressing their opinions and sharing their emotional responses about what they are facing. Parental bereavement has wide reaching consequences for children’s’ lives and we know that the ability of the surviving parent to support them is crucial. Starting to support parents before death provides the opportunity to ensure children are included in ways that are appropriate for that family. If we agree that children have rights and that pre-bereavement support is a core health need, then we must find ways of providing it. A discrete service to provide this specialised support across all areas of care is needed.</p> Catriona Macpherson Copyright (c) 2023 Catriona Macpherson Tue, 06 Jun 2023 00:00:00 -0700 The wound that doesn't heal <p>Even though people know that children die, often they do not know how to respond to the death of a child. More specifically, people do not know how to respond to a bereaved parent after his or her child has died. This is especially true in the United States where the death of an infant or child death is relatively uncommon. This essay addresses the complex and often contradictory feelings that bereaved parents can feel particularly in response to the actions of those around them – family, friends and colleagues – who actually mean well. Unfortunately, for a bereaved parent, even with the support and well wishes of others, things do not always get better with time; things can actually get worse. For some bereaved parents, the loss of a child is too much; it is similar to a sore or wound that cannot heal and eats away at a person until nothing is left. </p> Sean Daley Copyright (c) 2023 Sean Daley Tue, 06 Jun 2023 00:00:00 -0700 Revisiting funeral recordings during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK <p>Especially when travel and gatherings were restricted during the pandemic, filming and livestreaming enabled more people to connect with funerals than could attend in person. Filming has also created another less well considered possibility: of revisiting a funeral via a recording. This Viewpoint outlines a range of experiences and opinions about this practice. We suggest careful attention is needed to its development and its implications for bereavement care in diverse circumstances.</p> Jennifer Riley, Vikki Entwistle, Arnar Arnason, Rebecca Crozier, Louise Locock, Paolo Maccagno, Abi Pattenden Copyright (c) 2023 Jennifer Riley, Vikki Entwistle, Arnar Arnason, Rebecca Crozier, Louise Locock, Paolo Maccagno, Abi Pattenden Mon, 13 Feb 2023 00:00:00 -0800 Bereavement care: A widower's use of stories and bibliotherapy <p>This essay is both personal and professional. I write as a grieving husband and a family and grief educator who uses literary resources (bibliotherapy) as prompts for grieving, coping, and perspective.</p> <p>In these pages, I will interweave my personal grief-writing process with literary resources utilized as a grief educator. My intent is two-fold: to illuminate how words, especially metaphors, have informed and helped me as a widower AND to shed light on bibliotherapy as a resource for grief and bereavement care. Grieving work as a professional is one thing; it is another when you are the griever. Hence, countertransference will also be addressed. Limited commentary, research or theory will be included in this practice-focused article so that readers can ponder use of bibliotherapeutic practices for bereavement care, especially for widows and widowers.</p> Ted Bowman Copyright (c) 2023 Ted Bowman Mon, 13 Feb 2023 00:00:00 -0800 What difference does a year make? Looking back and ahead in Bereavement - Volume 2 Emily Harrop Copyright (c) 2023 Emily Harrop Mon, 13 Feb 2023 00:00:00 -0800