ABSTRACT A family member’s death from terminal illness can impact the entire family in profound ways. Surviving family members must make sense of their bereavement, though few are offered spaces to tell their stories in ways that might help them do so. The purpose of this study was to explore the content (meanings, values, and beliefs) and types of family bereavement narratives crafted by individuals living in the United States upon an immediate family member’s death due to terminal illness. Grounded in Communicated Narrative Sense-Making theory, we conducted 25 semi-structured interviews and engaged in both reflexive and narrative thematic analyses. Our findings include seven primary themes (illuminating identity, honoring dignity, sharing (dis)connection, reconfiguring relationships, transforming expectations, evolving beliefs, looking out) organized into three types of stories (Past, Present, Future). We discuss these findings and conclude by identifying key theoretical and practical implications.

Full Text
Published version (Free)

Talk to us

Join us for a 30 min session where you can share your feedback and ask us any queries you have

Schedule a call