Phenomenology Online

A Resource for Phenomenological Inquiry

Clark, Graeme T. (1993). Personal Meanings of Grief and Bereavement. Unpublished Dissertation Edmonton: University of Alberta.


< Abstract >

In this study, six stories of unusually complicated bereavement are explored from a hermeneutic phenomenological perspective. The study focuses upon the question: What is the lived experience of grieving? Experiences of problematic bereavement are explored against the background of grieving in general. Through the craft of a hermeneutic text, the reader is drawn into an insightful and provocative interpretation of several thematic dimensions revealed in bereavement experience. The following themes are addressed: the nature of the reality of loss, the transformation of the personal meaning of the connection between persons, the character of human bonding which is revealed through grieving, bereavement as an ongoing experience of limbo and self paralysis, and bereavement as a confrontation with death. Implications for theory, research and counseling are explored in the light of both existing theories, and human science research and literature related to human meaning and bereavement. Finally, the author’s experience of the hermeneutic phenomenological approach as a research process is examined, and limitations of the study are noted.