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ERIC Number: EJ1011201
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-0748-1187
Meaning Reconstruction in Bereavement: Sense and Significance
Hibberd, Rachel
Death Studies, v37 n7 p670-692 2013
Recently there has been growing empirical and theoretical attention to the role of meaning in grief, along with increased recognition of the need for more sophisticated definitions of meaning. The present article highlights philosophical issues inherent in the study of meaning and grief, reviews the place of meaning in current theories of grief, and provides a brief overview of the ways that meaning has been operationalized by grief researchers, including sense-making, benefit finding, identity change, and purpose in life. It is argued that, in our focus on the ways mourners make sense of loss, we have neglected an important aspect of meaning: life significance."Life significance" is the felt perception that some aspect of one's life experience "matters." The construct is explored as a potentially important outcome of bereavement; mourners may lose life significance along with their lost loved one, or they may develop new avenues to life significance as they confront mortality and rebuild shattered worldviews. Related literature, such as appreciation of life as a facet of posttraumatic growth, is surveyed for clues as to the role of life significance in grief. Suggestions for future study are offered.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A