Debunking the notion that an invariant sequence of stages of grief occurs among all who experience the death of a loved one, this groundbreaking volume clearly demonstrates that highly individual processes of meaning-making are at the heart of grief dynamics. Leading the reader through earlier conceptions of grief and mourning in which successful grieving is viewed as withdrawal of psychic energy from the deceased, the healthy role of continued symbolic bonds is stressed as well as appreciation of life-enhancing growth as one integrates the lessons of loss.
A prominent theme in the volume is that symptoms in the bereaved have meaning-making significance, and that meaning reconstruction in response to loss is the central process in grieving. More scientifically oriented readers will find comprehensive discussions of research programs supporting these tenets, particularly those linking grief with responses to loss involved in trauma. Practitioners will find clinically informed models and ample case descriptions to bridge concepts with the lived world of real people suffering real losses. All will find new paradigms for approaching loss and reconstruction of meaning in a respectful, revealing way that has significance both personally and professionally.