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, 20 Dec 2021 07:52:42 -0800 OJS 60 Sand tray interviews: <p>This article presents the “sand tray interview” as a method developed to help researchers interview young children on sensitive topics. Earlier studies have often refrained from interviewing young children on sensitive matters due to their difficulties in such research. This article details how sand tray interviews can be a safe and engaging way for young children to explore painful topics, such as parental bereavement. Based on our application, we discuss the development of the method and debate the applications, strengths, and limitations.</p> Martin Lytje, Carol Holliday Copyright (c) 2022 Martin Lytje, Carol Holliday Thu, 17 Nov 2022 00:00:00 -0800 What should good bereavement service support look like? Findings from pre-pandemic workshop discussions interpreted in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic <p><strong>Introduction</strong>: There is a lack of consistency in approaches to bereavement support provision and evaluation. This study identified outcomes for adult bereavement support in palliative care, involving a workshop with people from professional and lived experience backgrounds, providing a view on what support interventions should look like.</p> <p><strong>Aims: </strong>The aims of the workshop were to gather stakeholder views on the purpose and impacts of bereavement support and what outcomes should be used in the design and evaluation of bereavement interventions and services.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Methods: </strong>Stakeholders were divided into three groups and asked to identify and discuss how support services should help bereaved service users and what good bereavement support looks like. Key themes were identified from the written and verbal content of the consensus day.</p> <p><strong>Findings: </strong>Three main themes emerged from the data; informal support and self-management; the aims and purpose of formal bereavement service support and the timing, accessibility and quality of support.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion:</strong> Workshop findings align with public health models of bereavement care and recent service standards, identifying core support functions and aspirations for bereavement services. Finding the best mechanisms and modalities for meeting these, in the context of the late/post-pandemic period, presents both challenges and opportunities.</p> Hannah Scott, Stephanie Sivell , Mirella Longo , Kathy Seddon , Jim Fitzgibbon , Annmarie Nelson , Anthony Byrne , Emily Harrop Copyright (c) 2022 Emily Harrop Wed, 02 Nov 2022 00:00:00 -0700 The price of loss – how childhood bereavement impacts education <p>Based on a narrative review, this article describes the educational consequences and the risk and</p> <p>protective factors associated with losing a parent before the age of 18. A limited number of</p> <p>studies depict the relations between parental loss and student wellbeing and class relations. More research confirms that parental bereavement negatively impacts educational attainment and completion. Most studies have found that children from homes with low socio-economic resources underperform academically. This impact is stronger on girls in terms of lower educational completion and more negative self-perceived school performance. Having a well-educated surviving parent reduces risk. Deaths due to external factors (ie suicide or accidents) are particularly associated with reduced completion of education. The reasons behind academic decline or achievement are complicated; however, support from surviving parents and support from schools are important factors in helping children realise their academic potential.</p> Atle Dyregrov, Martin Lytje, Sophie Rex Christensen Copyright (c) 2022 Atle Dyregrov, Martin Lytje, Sophie Rex Christensen Mon, 04 Jul 2022 00:00:00 -0700 Engaging in perinatal loss in the Czech Republic: Keen community and haphazard institutionalisation <p>In the Czech Republic, community responsibility for care of the bereaved after pregnancy loss, and specifically perinatal loss, is a recent phenomenon. Using a sociological, qualitative, explorative framework, the paper analyses practices and contexts for establishing community care as emerging bottom-up initiatives. The research, funded by the Czech Science Foundation 2016– 2019, traces the significant change in the status quo of Czech practices of perinatal loss and associated bereavement care. Grassroots initiatives address these challenges rather than the public health system of the post-socialist past. The paper reflects risky or random as well as synergic effects of the changing environment in perinatal bereavement care provision.</p> Iva Šmídová Copyright (c) 2022 Iva Šmídová Thu, 18 Aug 2022 00:00:00 -0700 Bereavement during the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK: What do we know so far? <p>The Covid-19 pandemic has been a devastating mass bereavement event, with measures to control the virus leading to unprecedented changes to end-of-life and mourning practices. In this review we consider the research evidence on the experiences of people bereaved during the pandemic. We summarise key findings reported in the first five publications from our UK-based <em>Bereavement during COVID-19 study</em>, drawing comparisons with available evidence from other studies of bereavement during the pandemic.&nbsp;We summarise these findings across three main topics: experiences at the end of life and in early bereavement; coping and informal support during the pandemic; and access to bereavement and mental health services. The synthesis demonstrates the exceptional challenges of pandemic bereavement, including high levels of disruption to end-of-life care, dying and mourning practices as well as to people’s social networks and usual coping mechanisms. We identified considerable needs for emotional, therapeutic and informal support among bereaved people, compounded by significant difficulties in receiving and accessing such support. We provide evidence-based recommendations for improving people’s experiences of bereavement and access to support at all levels.</p> Emily Harrop, Lucy Selman Copyright (c) 2022 Emily Harrop, Lucy Selman Thu, 13 Jan 2022 00:00:00 -0800 Bereavement behind bars: Grief support groups with and without therapy dogs for incarcerated females <p>Grief is a universal experience; however not everyone experiences grief and loss in the same way. People who are incarcerated are often informed of losses via phone, are unable to attend funeral services or participate in supportive rituals, and can have difficulty expressing feelings in a place where showing emotion can be dangerous. Being unable to obtain support and process grief and loss may contribute to impaired functioning. In this study of bereavement support for women in prison, incarcerated women with recent or unresolved losses (n=32) were randomly assigned to grief support groups with therapy dogs (animal-assisted, AA) or without therapy dogs (non-AA). Pre- and post-test measures of bereavement symptoms and prolonged grief disorder (PGD) were obtained. This study shows that AA groups had more significant decreases in symptoms, lower rates of post-group diagnostic criteria for PGD and higher rates of perceived support/benefit from the groups.</p> Yvonne Eaton-Stull, Jessica Hotchkiss, Janel Jones, Francine Lilien Copyright (c) 2021 Yvonne Eaton-Stull, Jessica Hotchkiss, Janel Jones, Francine Lilien Mon, 20 Dec 2021 00:00:00 -0800 The uniqueness of twin loss and grief <p>Loss of a twin unexpectedly in adulthood can leave the remaining twin feeling lost, devastated, and empty. The surviving twin can question the normalcy of these feelings and their response to the grief experience as compared to other losses. A literature review on adult twin loss followed by a review on sibling loss produced a sparse amount of information relevant to my questions. Both reviews centered around losses in childhood with little evidence of support for losses during adulthood. Guidance to assist with coping after this type of loss did not reveal specific coping strategies for the twinless twin. The coping strategies identified may be valuable for any person in their grieving process. The unique loss may benefit from future research on the most effective coping strategies. Grief therapists need further resources specific to singleton grief.&nbsp; Further research and clinical work would improve grief experiences during adult twin loss.</p> Joan Creed Copyright (c) 2022 Joan Creed Thu, 06 Jan 2022 00:00:00 -0800 Overcoming adversity: Insights into an acute hospital service of supported viewing for families bereaved during the Covid-19 pandemic <p>The number of people bereaved due to the Covid-19 pandemic is a major health and social care concern. At a time of unprecedented demand on acute and critical care services, restricted family presence to reduce transmission of the disease had a profound impact on the way bereavement support could be provided in the hospital setting. In response, relatively rapid adaptions to practices were required. This paper provides inspiration and guidance on an acute hospital initiative designed to address the emotional needs of the immediately bereaved. The core features of a supported viewing service are presented through the lens of key employees who played a central role in its development and delivery, and with reference to the prevailing literature. Formal evaluation of the service through qualitative inquiry is recommended, complementary to anecdotal evidence of appreciative uptake of the service during the pandemic.</p> Wendy Marina Walker, Ruth Horton, Jennifer Jones, Julie Morrell, Elaine Roberts Copyright (c) 2022 Wendy Marina Walker, Ruth Horton, Jennifer Jones, Julie Morrell, Elaine Roberts Thu, 06 Jan 2022 00:00:00 -0800 Beliefs and strategies for coping with stillbirth: A qualitative study in Nigeria <p>Stillbirth, the loss of a baby during pregnancy or childbirth, is one of the most devastating losses a parent can experience. The experience of stillbirth is associated with trauma and intense grief, but mothers’ belief systems can be protective against the impacts of grief. Women in Nigeria endure a high burden of stillbirth and the aim in this study was to describe the beliefs and strategies for coping with stillbirth. Twenty mothers bereaved by stillbirth in Nigeria were interviewed; seven of them also participated in a focus group. The findings of the study revealed that the experience of stillbirth was influenced by beliefs which originated from superstitions, religion, and social expectations. These beliefs played significant roles in how mothers coped with the loss, by providing them with a framework for sense-making and benefit-finding.</p> Tosin Popoola, Joan Skinner, Martin Woods Copyright (c) 2022 Tosin Popoola, Joan Skinner, Martin Woods Thu, 06 Jan 2022 00:00:00 -0800 Post-traumatic growth following the death of a parent: Does one auto-ethnographic account make a summer? <p>Parental death in adulthood is for many a life-changing event (Pearce &amp; Komaromy, 2021). In recent years, the work of Tedeschi and Calhoun (2004), has focused on post-traumatic growth following trauma. Qasim and Carson, (2020), challenged the inevitability of post-traumatic growth following the trauma of bereavement. This paper considers the loss of her father by the first author, from the perspective of the Tedeschi and Calhoun Model. This looks for growth in five areas; relating to others, new possibilities, personal strength, spiritual change and appreciation of life. This auto-ethnographic account follows a rich tradition of other recent autobiographical accounts in the bereavement field (Mayer &amp; Mayer, 2020; Coles, 2021; Moore, 2021).</p> Komal Qasim, Jerome Carson Copyright (c) 2022 Komal Qasim, Jerome Carson Fri, 25 Mar 2022 00:00:00 -0700 We wept and we waited-but what can we learn from the week we mourned the Queen? Harrop Emily, Pearce Caroline Copyright (c) 2022 Harrop Emily, Pearce Caroline Wed, 12 Oct 2022 00:00:00 -0700 Introducing Bereavement: journal of grief and responses to death Caroline Pearce Copyright (c) 2021 Caroline Pearce Mon, 20 Dec 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Why aren’t rural family caregivers receiving appropriate bereavement support in Australia? Practical considerations for palliative care settings <p>Bereavement support for families and carers in rural Australian settings often fails to meet well-established and longstanding guidelines in key areas, subsequently causing undue mental distress for many individuals and potentially leading to the development of prolonged grief disorder (PGD), a debilitating psychiatric disorder of intensified grief and additional physical health detriments. In this paper, we consider the literature surrounding rural bereavement care in Australia and identify factors that contribute to poorer bereavement care in these locations, including issues of lacking policy elements to guide bereavement support and deficiencies in training and staffing which create difficulties between competing healthcare priorities. We synthesise recommendations of several guidelines to propose an individualised, multi-disciplinary, and pathway-based approach to rural bereavement care, and finally suggest several key areas that can be targeted and improved to help improve rural bereavement care in Australia without creating significant strain on the already thin resources of rural healthcare settings.</p> Mohammad Hamiduzzaman , Kyle O'Donohue, Arron Veltre Copyright (c) 2022 Mohammad Hamiduzzaman , Kyle O'Donohue, Arron Veltre Mon, 23 May 2022 00:00:00 -0700 How was your lockdown? <p>No abstract</p> Julia Samuel Copyright (c) 2021 Julia Samuel Mon, 20 Dec 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Do we need to decolonise bereavement studies? <p>At this re-launch of the journal<em> Bereavement</em>, we explore the question, ‘Do we need to decolonise bereavement studies?’ We do not offer definitive answers, but rather seek to open up conversations. We briefly explore some of the main debates and explanations of what ‘decolonising’ means. In its broader understandings, this entails questions about the nature of the knowledge that underpins claims to ‘expertise’, since knowledge inevitably reflects the socio-historic position and biography of those who produce it. This raises uncomfortable issues about the ‘universality’ of that knowledge, and how to understand what is shared between human beings, including how to understand experiences of pain and suffering. In addressing the nature of, ‘bereavement studies’, we first consider complexities of language and translation, before observing the heavy domination of the ‘psy’ disciplines in affluent minority worlds, oriented towards individualised, medicalised and interventionist perspectives. We indicate work that seeks to challenge these limitations, including the decolonising of psychiatry itself. We argue the need for such decolonising work to go beyond cross-cultural work originating in affluent minority worlds, beyond interdisciplinarity, and beyond crucial work on equality, diversity and inclusivity. Bereavement, as a field of study and a set of practices, needs to take account of the legacies of complex colonial histories of exploitation and harm that continue to shape the world in general, and in particular, the aftermath of death in the continuing lives of the living. We conclude with some implications for ‘bereavement’ practice, from a UK perspective.</p> Sukhbinder Hamilton, Berenice Golding, Jane Ribbens McCarthy Copyright (c) 2022 Sukhbinder Hamilton, Berenice Golding, Jane Ribbens McCarthy Thu, 13 Jan 2022 00:00:00 -0800