Death, Dying, and Bereavement

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Death, Dying, and Bereavement

SKU# 9780826171412

Contemporary Perspectives, Institutions, and Practices


  • Judith Stillion PhD, CT
  • Thomas Attig PhD

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Delivers the collective wisdom of foremost scholars and practitioners in the death and dying movement from its inception to the present.

Written by luminaries who have shaped the field, this capstone book distills the collective wisdom of foremost scholars and practitioners who together have nearly a millennium of experience in the death and dying movement. The book bears witness to the evolution of the movement and presents the insights of its pioneers, eyewitnesses, and major contributors past and present. Its chapters address contemporary intellectual, institutional, and practice developments in thanatology: hospice and palliative care; funeral practice; death education; and caring of the dying, suicidal, bereaved, and traumatized.

With a breadth and depth found in no other text on death, dying, and bereavement, the book disseminates the thinking of prominent authors William Worden, David Clark, Tony Walter, Robert Neimeyer, Charles Corr, Phyllis Silverman, Betty Davies, Therese A. Rando, Colin Murray Parkes, Kenneth Doka, Allan Kellehear, Sandra Bertman, Stephen Connor, Linda Goldman, Mary Vachon, and others. Their chapters discuss the most significant facets of early development, review important current work, and assess major challenges and hopes for the future in the areas of their expertise. A substantial chronology of important milestones in the contemporary movement introduces the book, frames the chapters to follow, and provides guidance for further, in-depth reading. The book first focuses on the interdisciplinary intellectual achievements that have formed the foundation of the field of thanatology. The section on institutional innovations encompasses contributions in hospice and palliative care of the dying and their families; funeral service; and death education. The section on practices addresses approaches to counseling and providing support for individuals, families, and communities on issues related to dying, bereavement, suicide, trauma, disaster, and caregiving. An Afterword identifies challenges and looks toward future developments that promise to sustain, further enrich, and strengthen the movement.


  • Distills the wisdom of pioneers in and major contributors to the contemporary death, dying, and bereavement movement
  • Includes living witness accounts of the movement's evolution and important milestones
  • Presents the best contemporary thinking in thanatology
  • Describes contemporary institutional developments in hospice and palliative care, funeral practice, and death education
  • Illuminates best practices in care of the dying, suicidal, bereaved, and traumatized

Product Details 

  • Publication Date November 07, 2014
  • Page Count 428
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826171412
  • EISBN 9780826171429

Table of Contents 


Introduction: Chronology of Developments in the Movement
Thomas Attig


1. Seeking Wisdom About Mortality, Dying, and Bereavement

Thomas Attig

Personal History

Philosophy as Love of Wisdom

Existential Phenomenology

Facing Personal Mortality

Living While Dying

Bereavement and Grieving

Looking to the Future


2. Know Thyself: Psychology’s Contributions to Thanatology

Judith M. Stillion

My Entry Into the Field

Early Psychology

The Psychoanalytic Movement

Humanistic/Existential Psychology

Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Behaviorism

Positive Psychology

Eclectic Thinkers

Facing the Future


3. Sociological Perspectives on Death, Dying, and Bereavement

Tony Walter

What Draws a Sociologist to Study Death?


Current Themes

Contemporary Challenges


4. Science and Practice: Contributions of Nurses to End-of-Life and Palliative Care

Diana J. Wilkie and Inge B. Corless

Palliative and End-of-Life Care Journeys

Uncovering and Combating the Conspiracy of Silence About Death and Dying

Making Meaning: Living With the Chronicity of Life-Threatening Illnesses

Promoting Team-Based Collaborative Approaches to Care

Managing Pain and Symptoms of Children and Adults

Integrating Bereavement Within Patient-Centered and Family-Focused Dying Care

Conducting Research With People at the End of Life

Educating Nurses to Improve Care of People at the End of Life

Summary: Impact of Nurses on Palliative and End-of-Life Care


5. Legal Issues in End-of-Life Decision Making

James L. Werth Jr.


1970s and 1980s






6. The Ethics of Caring for the Dying and the Bereaved

Thomas Attig

My Involvement in End-of-Life Ethics

The History of Medical/Health Care Ethics

Respect for Persons

The Turn to Narrative Ethics

Looking to the Future


7. Theoretical Perspectives on Loss and Grief

J. William Worden

Sigmund Freud

Erich Lindemann

John Bowlby

Colin Parkes

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

William Worden

Therese Rando

Simon Rubin

Thomas Attig

Stroebe and Colleagues

Continuing Bonds

Robert Neimeyer and Janice Nadeau

The Elephant Needs a Pedicure: Similarities, Differences, Directions for the Future


8. The Psychologization of Grief and Its Depictions Within Mainstream North American Media

Leeat Granek

Grief as a Psychological Object of Study in a Modernist Context

The Pathologization/Psychologization of Grief

Depictions of Pathological/Psychological Grief in Mainstream Media


Looking Ahead


9. Developmental Perspectives on Death and Dying, and Maturational Losses

Judith L. M. McCoyd and Carolyn A. Walter

Our Stories

Our Developmental Perspective

Perinatal Period and Infancy

Toddlerhood Through Preschool-Aged Children

Elementary School-Aged Children

Tweens and Teens

Young Adults

Middle Adulthood


Older Adults

New Directions and Developments



10. Hospice Care of the Dying

David Clark

Attractions of Hospice

Foundational Strands of Early Development

Hospice Care Today: Evaluation and Controversy

Challenges and Hopes for the Future of Hospice Care for the Dying


11. Hospital-Based Palliative Care

Bernard J. Lapointe and Dawn Allen

Where We Began and How We Have Changed—A Brief History of Hospital-based Palliative Care

Cornerstones and Foundations of Hospital-Based Palliative Care

Current Challenges in Hospital-Based Palliative Care

Looking Ahead: Protecting the Future of Hospital-Based Palliative Care


12. Palliative Care for Children

Betty Davies

My Entry Into the Field

Early Work in the Field

The 1970s and 1980s

The 1990s

Definition of Pediatric Palliative Care

Current Developments in PPC (2000–the Present)



13. The Global Spread of Hospice and Palliative Care

Stephen Connor

Personal Reflection

Foundational Work on the Global Development of Palliative Care

Current Work on Development of Palliative Care

Challenges and Hopes for the Future


14. Death and Funeral Service

Vanderlyn R. Pine

Historical Antecedents to Post–World War II Funeral Directing

The Changing Role of Funeral Directors Following World War II

Scholarship About Funerals, Death, Grief, and Bereavement

Research Focused on Funeral Directing

Criticism of Funeral Directors and Funeral Practices

The Impact of the Baby Boom on the Funeral Industry

The Future


15. Death Education at the College and University Level in North America

Charles A. Corr

My Involvement in This Field

Early Initiatives

Early Pedagogical Resources

More Recent Developments: Survey Courses on Death, Dying, and Bereavement

More Recent Developments: Other Death-Related Courses

More Recent Developments: Thanatology Programs

What Have We Learned From and About Death Education?


16. Death Education as a Public Health Issue

Allan Kellehear

The Case for Death Education as a Public Health Issue

Two Current International Examples

Future Challenges



17. Spirituality: Quo Vadis?

Kenneth J. Doka

Religion, Spirituality, Health, and Grief

Spiritual Tasks in Life-Threatening Illness

Spirituality and Grief: After the Death

Assisting Individuals and Families at the End of Life: Using Spirituality

The Power and Use of Rituals

The Challenge of Spiritual Support

Quo Vadis


18. Using the Arts and Humanities With the Dying, Bereaved, … and Ourselves

Sandra Bertman

Where and How It All Began

The Equinox Institute (1969–1971)

Failproof Techniques for All Ages

Fast Forward: From Dissection to Palliative Care—Soul Pain, Aesthetic Distance, and the Training of Physicians

Changing Ideas About Health Care

Where We Are Going


19. Family Support for the Dying and Bereaved

David W. Kissane

The Development of Family-Centered Care

The Foundations of Family-Centered Care

Clinical Organization of Family-Centered Care Today

Challenges for the Future of Family-Centered Care



20. Supporting Grieving Children

Linda Goldman

My Early Years in the Field

Children’s Concepts of Death

Resources for Children

Children’s Grief and the Digital Age

Grief Work With Children

Grief Education for Adults

Basic Understandings for Adults

Joining as a Global Grief Community for Children


21. Helping Each Other: Building Community

Phyllis R. Silverman


The Widow-to-Widow Program

Widows Who Accepted Help

Widows Who Refused Help

The Widowed Service Line

Other Programs

A View of Grief

Mutual Help

Current Programs and Practices



22. Treating Complicated Bereavement: The Development of Grief Therapy

Robert A. Neimeyer

A Backward Glance

The Contemporary Landscape of Loss

A Scientific Coda



23. When Trauma and Loss Collide: The Evolution of Intervention for Traumatic Bereavement

Therese A. Rando

Definitions and Conceptual Clarifications

From Two Disparate Areas to One: Pivotal Steps in the Development of Traumatic Bereavement

The “Classics” in the Field: Six Foundational Concepts Associated With the Treatment of Traumatic Bereavement up to 2000

Someday to Be “Classics” in the Field: Five of the Newest, Most Valuable Areas of Contribution to the Treatment of Traumatic Bereavement Since 2000

Future Concerns Regarding Traumatic Bereavement and Its Treatment


24. To Be or Not to Be: Suicide Then and Now

Judith M. Stillion

A Little History

Dimensions of the Problem

Myths About Suicide

Understanding and Preventing Suicide

Patterns of Suicide

Suicide Prevention

Society’s Role in Suicide Prevention


A Look Ahead


25. Grief After Suicide: The Evolution of Suicide Postvention

John R. Jordan

Personal Evolution

Evolution of the Response to a Public Health Problem

Interventions for Survivors—History

Interventions for Survivors—Current Standing

Interventions for Survivors—Future Directions




26. Responding to Grief and Trauma in the Aftermath of Disaster

Colin Murray Parkes

Preparation for Disasters

The Impact Phase—Psychological First Aid

Recoil—Planning and Implementation—Posttraumatic Reactions

Aftermath—Community Care and Recovery

Recovery—Withdrawal of External Services

Implications for Future Developments


27. Care of the Caregiver: Professionals and Family Members

Mary L. S. Vachon

Professional History


Stress and Distress

Burnout and Job Engagement

Compassion Fatigue, Empathy, and Compassion Satisfaction

What Are Caregivers Already Doing That Works?

Current Interventions

Major Challenges and Hopes for the Future


Judith M. Stillion and Thomas Attig