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Negotiation of Dialectical Contradictions by Parents who have Experienced the Death of a Child

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Abstract:

This study examines how bereaved parents experience communicating with individuals in their social network. The bereaved parents in this study experienced two dialectical contradictions: (a) between the physical absence of their child and the continuing presence and emotional bond with their deceased child; and (b) between being open or closed when deciding whether to talk about the deceased child to others. Results describe how parents communicatively negotiated these contradictions. The article concludes by discussing practical applications for bereaved parents, bereavement support groups, helping professionals, and individuals within the bereaved parents' social network.

Keywords: Dialectical Contradictions; Openness-Closedness; Parental Bereavement; Presence-Absence

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0090988042000318512

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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