ERIC Number: EJ1005425
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
A Death in the Family: Death as a Zen Concept
Black, Helen K.; Rubinstein, Robert L.
International Journal of Aging and Human Development, v76 n1 p79-97 2013
This study is based on original research that explored family reaction to the death of an elderly husband and father. We interviewed 34 families (a family included a widow and two adult biological children) approximately 6 to 10 months after the death. In one-on-one interviews, we discussed family members' initial reaction to the death, how the family is coping with the loss, and the changes that occurred in family relationships. In this article we focus on family solidarity after the loved one's death and discuss one extended case from the larger study. In reviewing our data, we find that a Zen perspective is useful in understanding the effect of the death on family relationships because this perspective incorporates a focus on the paradoxes of life and death. As death forces the family into the "present in its fullness," the contradictions of intimacy and distance, past and future, and life and death, emerge. Members of the family explore existential questions about life, death, and intimacy, in order to find meaning in: 1) the life and death of the loved one; 2) their own lives; and 3) the family.
Descriptors: Parent Child Relationship, Intimacy, Death, Family (Sociological Unit), Older Adults, Interviews, Spouses, Fathers, Coping, Psychological Patterns, Family Relationship, Case Studies, Emotional Response
Baywood Publishing Company, Inc. 26 Austin Avenue, P.O. Box 337, Amityville, NY 11701. Tel: 800-638-7819; Tel: 631-691-1270; Fax: 631-691-1770; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://baywood.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A