Mediating Grief: Postmortem Ritualization After Child Death

Joanne Cacciatore, Melissa Flint

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    45 Scopus citations


    The purpose of this study is to better understand the benefits of ritualization for bereaved parents and the factors that influence ritualization. Through phenomenological analyses of 19 in-depth interviews with bereaved parents, the results of this study reveal that bereaved parents engage in ritual to (a) maintain continuing bonds with their child, (b) help them cope by offering them a sense of control, and (c) provide a means toward posttraumatic growth by honoring and memorializing their child. These factors, in turn, appear to mediate grief through meaning reconstruction in the aftermath of the child's life and death within the context of social and cultural influences. Implications for providers are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)158-172
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Mar 2012

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Phychiatric Mental Health
    • Social Psychology
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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