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Homeward BoundModern Families, Elder Care, and Loss$
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Amy Ziettlow and Naomi Cahn

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190261092

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190261092.001.0001

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A Caregiver Becomes a Griever

A Caregiver Becomes a Griever

(p.83) 6 A Caregiver Becomes a Griever
Homeward Bound

Amy Ziettlow

Naomi Cahn

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 organizes the interviewees’ grief experiences using William Worden’s four tasks of mourning as a framework. Managing life after loss entailed accepting the reality of the death, developing the ability to express grief, making adjustments to family rituals and general worldview, and establishing a continuing relationship with the person who had died. For families with higher norm coherence, that first year was a collective loss, with shared and harmonious experiences. For families with lower norm coherence, the grieving process often served to exacerbate tensions. All those interviewed described various fluctuations in emotion, thoughts, and behaviour, and how they cultivated coping skills to help in living through those experiences.

Keywords:   grief, loss, death, ritual, family, parent, stepparent

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