Death, Bereavement, and Mourning

Samuel C. Heilman

An encounter with the loss of life of one other is commonly an event when the bereaved have to be sustained of their loss, relieved of the anxiousness that the assembly with loss of life engenders, and comforted of their grief. It’s a time when these left behind typically search to redress wrongs in themselves or within the relationships that loss of life has shaken and upset. In each collective and particular person responses to the trauma of encountering loss of life, we witness efforts to counter the misfortune and to clarify the which means of the loss, to show reminiscence into blessing, to reconcile life with loss of life, to regenerate life, and redeem each the bereaved and the useless.

Typically loss might remodel the bereaved in ways in which result in progress and maturity; different occasions a loss results in unremitting anger or melancholia. There could also be a wide range of non secular expressions that the bereaved expertise of their time of loss, however there seems to be some frequent components in all of them. Extra time, survivors’ emotions are reworked into rising exploration of the non secular, a profound sense of rebirth, newfound emotions of self-mastery or confidence, and a deeply held conviction that “life goes on.”

The contributions to this quantity are based mostly on a convention held in New York on the primary anniversary of September 11, 2001. Contributors embrace Peter Metcalf, Robert Jay Lifton, Ilana Harlow, Robert A. Neimeyer, Samuel Heilman, and Neil Gillman. This delicate and heartfelt quantity relates particularly to problems with loss of life, bereavement, and mourning within the aftermath of the assault on the World Commerce Middle, however the purposes to different particular person and catastrophic occasions is apparent. The contributions don’t merely discover how individuals cope with bereavement or are psychologically affected by excessive grief: they deal with how individuals can attempt to discover which means in tragedy and loss, and attempt to assist restore order within the wake of chaos. The multidisciplinary views embrace these of anthropology, psychology, theology, social work, and artwork.

Samuel Heilman is the Distinguished Professor of Sociology and holder of the Harold Proshansky Chair in Jewish Research and Sociology on the Metropolis College of New York, and has additionally taught on the College of Illinois at Chicago, the Hebrew College in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv College, and the Universities of New South Wales and Melbourne. He’s the writer of a number of books, together with Synagogue Life and The Folks of the Guide, each printed in paperback by Transaction.