Questo sito utilizza cookie di terze parti per inviarti pubblicità in linea con le tue preferenze. Se vuoi saperne di più clicca QUI 
Chiudendo questo banner, scorrendo questa pagina, cliccando su un link o proseguendo la navigazione in altra maniera, acconsenti all'uso dei cookie. OK

Living beyond the unanticipated sudden death of a partner: a phenomenological study

This research project used a Husserlian phenomenological approach to explore grief and its impact upon men and women who have experienced the sudden and unanticipated death of his or her partner. The use of Husserlian phenomenological research into thanatological study is a valuable method of exposing the experiences of bereaved people in a vibrant and deep manner. Husserlian phenomenology allowed the surviving partner to reveal every aspect of his or her everyday life and experiences. It included what grief meant to them, how it was manifested in their everyday lives and how their partner’s death had impacted upon his or her relationship with themselves, with others and the world. The stories told by the surviving partner were unique, however shared common themes.
The researcher used in-depth open-ended interviews, which were informal conversations about the person’s experiences and perceptions related to the death of their partner. A predetermined list of questions was used in order to prompt the interviewer and to gain some semblance of continuity.
This study involved interviewing 10 women and five men whose partner had died up to five years prior to the interview. Other parameters of this research project were: the partner who died was aged between 18 - 65 years of age, had no known pre-existing life threatening illness, had not worked in a high risk occupation, and did not regularly take part in high risk recreational pursuits. The death of the partner was not due to suicide or homicide. The participants were gathered using the media, and other formal and informal methods of communication.
The sudden and unexpected death of a partner shattered the life of the surviving partner leading the surviving partner to experience shock, denial and numbness. The surviving partner required family and friends to support them whilst they attempted to reconcile and integrate the death of their partner into his or her life. The need for the surviving partner to continue to participate in everyday life placed great strain upon the internal resources of the surviving partner, sometimes resulting in eating disorders, increased use of alcohol or the need for prescription medications.
Exposure to officialdom whilst coming to terms with the new social status of widow or widower reinforced the reality of the surviving partner’s new life. The surviving partner needed to reinvent him or herself, in an attempt to become independent and regain functionality, whilst dealing with the sadness and loss that they had experienced. The surviving partner discovered that a new life order emerged that included hope, optimism, planning for the future and perhaps the prospect of a new relationship. The death of a partner left the surviving partner with a loss that would always be a part of them, with the memories of his or her relationship being maintained within them that will never be replaced by somebody else.
The results of this research project reinforce the need for ongoing education of the community in grief and bereavement issues in order to increase the awareness of the support needs of the bereaved person. The length of time and amount of energy required to incorporate the experience into the survivor’s life, is greatly underestimated by the community, and perhaps by some of the health and caring professionals. The notion of being able to reconcile the sudden and unexpected death of a partner may actually be unachievable, with the surviving partner not being able to make sense of a “senseless” death. This may lead the surviving partner to encapsulate or compartmentalise the loss into his or her life in order to progress with future relationships between themselves, others and the world.
It is hoped that the health and caring professions that deal with the newly bereaved may gain greater insight and understanding into the way people live with this type of loss in order to provide appropriate support. Health providers need to be cognizant of the detrimental effect that profound grief experiences can have on the psychological and physical well being of the surviving partner. The impact that grief has upon the health and wellbeing of the survivors can be profound, which also has an impact upon the greater community with a financial cost associated with grief related psychological and physical problems.
Coronial and hospital based bereavement support services need to be established and proactive using outreach programmes,

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
1 INTRODUCTION Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived. Gabriel Marcel, (Miller & Hrycyniak, 1996, p.83) Background When each of us approaches a new day, we make assumptions based upon our previous experiences. The major ‘taken for granted for’ assumption is that if we are living an ordinary life and we are anticipating an ordinary day, the probability is that each of us, as well as people close to us, will live to complete the day. Every day, however, somewhere in the world, this assumption is shattered by the sudden unanticipated death of a partner. It has been well documented that people living in the so-called ‘Western World’ are by and large a death denying society (Kellehear, 2000). As a collective group we do not regularly discuss (or perhaps even think about) the inevitability of our death. Many people do not have up to date Wills or funeral plans organised (Kellehear, 2000). The reality of life is that it will eventually end. People whose partners have a degenerative illness or a malignant disease are aware that his or her partner’s life may be shortened and are more likely to be prepared for their impending death. People whose partners are fit and well and are not partaking in life threatening occupations or recreational pursuits are more likely to be unprepared for their death (Duke, 1998; Gilliland & Fleming, 1997; Hogan, Greenfield, & Schmidt, 2001; Levy, 1991; Sweeting & Gilhooly, 1990). Following the sudden and unexpected death of his or her partner the surviving partner’s life has been thrown totally out of kilter and infused with sadness and loss. The grief that is experienced inhabits the life of the surviving partner every minute of the day, which affects how he or she views himself or herself, how he or she relates to others and his or her relationships with the world.

International thesis/dissertation

Autore: Martin Rodger Contatta »

Composta da 309 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 256 click dal 21/07/2006.


Consultata integralmente 4 volte.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.