Despite an historical tendency among psychologists to pathologize continuing attachment to the deceased, scholars of grief have come to appreciate that maintaining a connection to the deceased can be a healthy part of bereavement. Using Fisher's perspective on narrative, data from The Compassionate Friends bulletin board were analyzed, both quantitatively and qualitatively, to unravel how messages to the deceased contribute to a healing story of bereavement. It is argued here that messages to the deceased can be healthy due to cathartic emotion expression and maintenance of a relationship that brings solace and meaning to the bereaved.
Hastings, Sally O.; Hoover, Judith D.; and Musambira, George W.
""In My Heart for Eternity": Normalizing Messages to the Deceased,"
Storytelling, Self, Society:
2, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/storytelling/vol1/iss2/2