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Continuing Bonds: New Understandings of Grief

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First published in 1996. This new book gives voice to an emerging consensus among bereavement scholars that our understanding of the grief process needs to be expanded. The dominant 20th century model holds that the function of grief and mourning is to cut bonds with the deceased, thereby freeing the survivor to reinvest in new relationships in the present. Pathological grief has been defined in terms of holding on to the deceased. Close examination reveals that this model is based more on the cultural values of modernity than on any substantial data of what people actually do.

Presenting data from several populations, 22 authors - among the most respected in their fields - demonstrate that the health resolution of grief enables one to maintain a continuing bond with the deceased. Despite cultural disapproval and lack of validation by professionals, survivors find places for the dead in their on-going lives and even in their communities. Such bonds are not the deceased can provide resources for enriched functioning in the present.

Chapters examine widows and widowers, bereaved children, parents and siblings, and a population previously excluded from bereavement adoptees and their birth parents. Bereavement in Japanese culture is also discussed, as are meanings and implications of this new model of grief. Opening new areas of research and scholarly dialogue, this work provides the basis for significant developments in clinical practice in the field.

384 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1996

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Dennis Klass

8 books1 follower

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Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 reviews
Profile Image for Jinny.
54 reviews2 followers
February 15, 2010
I agree with the authors'/researchers' basic premise here...that our relationships with loved ones who have passed don't end...they continue, but in a different way. This book was enormously helpful and comforting to me, as well as just being interesting. I would recommend it to anyone trying to better understand their own grief journey, and who is trying to integrate their grief/loss into their life, rather than try to get past it as quickly as possible.
Profile Image for Bridgette Mongeon.
Author 4 books7 followers
November 27, 2011
Another book used in undergraduate work. This is a wonderful book and I refer to it often in my writing on grief. I was especially interested in figuring out and learning about positive connections to deceased loved ones. We in the west seem to put a limit on grief. As a sculptor of posthumous individuals created for prayer gardens and cemeteries, I was very interested in finding out about healthy continuing bonds. This is what I do with my work. Help individuals to grieve and heal through healthy continuing bonds. If I could rate this book with another 1/2 star I would. Again it is mostly because of my own personal journey of coming to understand empathy, grief and love of those we have lost.
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 reviews

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