Meaning reconstruction in the experience of parental bereavement


Meaning reconstruction in the experience of parental bereavement


Braun Mildred J; Berg DH


Death Studies




Child; Grief; Family; Parents; Death; Attitude; Role; bereavement; knowledge; mothers; Meaning; mourning; child death


Grounded theory analysis was used to generate an explanation of the phenomenon of meaning reconstruction in the experience of 10 bereaved mothers. The theory that emerged included three phases in the process of meaning reconstruction: discontinuity, disorientation, and adjustment. The participants reinterpreted the meaning structures they had held prior to their child's death in order to give meaning to the death. The nature of the prior meaning structure merged as the core variable. The ability to restore meaning after the death of a child was clearly linked to the prior existence of a meaning structure that could account for and "place" the child's death. The findings suggest that the process of meaning reconstruction is a unique aspect of the grieving experience that cannot be explained by existing theories of grief. Recognition of the complexity of the process has implications for community members and professionals who interact with the bereaved parent.


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Citation List Month



Braun Mildred J; Berg DH, “Meaning reconstruction in the experience of parental bereavement,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed March 2, 2024,