Bereavement is often treated as a psychological condition of the individual with both healthy and pathological forms. However, this empirically-grounded study argues that this is not always the best or only way to help the bereaved. In a radical departure, it emphasises normality and social and cultural diversity in grieving.

Exploring the significance of the dying person’s final moments for those who are left behind, this book sheds new light on the variety of ways in which bereaved people maintain their relationship with dead loved ones and how the dead retain a significant social presence in the lives of the living. It draws practical conclusions for professionals in relation to the complex and social nature of grief and the value placed on the right to grieve in one’s own way – supporting and encouraging the bereaved person to articulate their own experience and find their own methods of coping.

Based on new empirical research, Bereavement Narratives is an innovative and invaluable read for all students and researchers of death, dying and bereavement.

chapter |14 pages


part |2 pages

Part One Preserving and affirming personhood

chapter 1|23 pages

Humanising a loved one’s dying

chapter 2|33 pages

Constructing a good death

chapter 3|12 pages

Dying moments

part |6 pages

Part Two Absence and presence

chapter 4|23 pages

Defining the loss

chapter 5|10 pages

Materialising loss

chapter 6|19 pages

Rediscovering presence

chapter 7|20 pages

Locating and sustaining presence

chapter 8|14 pages

Continuing bonds in contemporary society