Carol Lorraine Hedtke
Folding Memories in Conversation: Remembering Practices in Bereavement Groups
This qualitative study investigated how conversations of death and grief are affected by participation in remembering conversations about the deceased in a time-limited support group setting. Remembering conversations seek to keep alive the stories, legacies, memories and recollections long after a person has died. Rather than living with the modern assumption that death severs the emotional connection and people need to say “good bye”, remembering conversations cultivate opportunities for on-going conversations in the narratives we tell. This can build upon best of a relationship to navigate the challenges in following the death of a loved one. When death, and bereavement, can be thought of in relational terms, rather than as an individual isolating practiced, the continuity of connection affirms strength for the bereaved. Participants were interviewed following their involvement in a six-week remembering conversations support group to ascertain what was helpful, therapeutic in a new and innovative way to construct bereavement practices.