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This article focuses on long - term grief of older bereaved parents within the context of the Israeli society. The themes that emerged in a group discussion with 29 elderly bereaved parents whose sons were killed during military service support previous findings that the passage of time has no diminishing effect on parents' grief or on relinquishing attachment to the deceased. Aging appears to increase internalized involvement with the long - lost child, fears of fading memories, and the need to eternalize the deceased. In reviewing the past, parents reevaluate their coping with the loss and their relationship with the surviving children. The strong attachment seems to continue in external and inner representations of the lost child. In Israel, this preoccupation is enhanced due to society's attitude to dead soldiers, creating thereby an interface between society and bereaved families. The authors conclude that grief is a central theme in aging parents, and the term "aging of grief" is suggested to describe the course that grief and its many aspects may take with the passage of time.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 1999

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