ABSTRACT

This chapter will explore the relationship between continuing bonds and the process of posttraumatic growth (PTG) in bereaved persons. Bereavement can usher into a person’s life new considerations of how to live, as a loss requires changes in perspective, habits, and relationships. Managing these changes can challenge people to greater personal development, i.e., PTG. At the same time, the challenge of navigating the emotional connection to the deceased person also requires new perspectives. In this chapter, the ability to think dialectically—that is, to appreciate paradox—will be considered as an important common element in PTG and the holding of a continuing bond. In this way, PTG and continuing bonds can work together to mitigate the distress of bereavement, and ultimately produce benefits for others as bereaved persons find ways to carry forward the bonds with their loved ones into acts of service.