Death and Bereavement Across Cultures
Edited by Colin Murray Parkes, Pittu Laungani, William Young
Routledge – 1997 – 272 pages
All societies have their own customs and beliefs surrounding death. In the West, traditional ways of mourning are disappearing, and though science has had a major impact on views of death, it has taught us little about the way to die or to grieve. Many who come into contact with the dying and the bereaved from other cultures are at a loss to know how to offer appropriate and sensitive support.
Death and Bereavement Across Cultures, provides a handbook with which to meet the needs of doctors, nurses, social workers, counsellors and others involved in the care of the dying and bereaved. Written by international authorities in the field, this important text:
* describes the rituals and beliefs of major world religions
* explains their psychological and historical context
* shows how customs change on contact with the West
* considers the implications for the future
This book explores the richness of mourning traditions around the world with the aim of increasing the understanding which we all bring to the issue of death.
'This fascinating book is an excellent source of information for those working with dying and bereaved people … of value in hospitals, hospices and community health centres, as well as in the offices of bereavement support agencies.' - Progress in Palliative Care
'A powerful pastoral and practical exploration of the richness of traditions surrounding death around the world.' - Contact
'I just couldn't let it go - it helped me to make sense of an incomprehensible experience. Reading about different forms of bereavement rituals around the world helped me to create my own rituals which had meaning to me and helped me to let go of a loved one, in a spiritual way.' - Aisha Dupont-Joshua, Race and Cultural Education in Counselling Journal
Bill Young is Consultant Child and Adult Psychiatrist at St Christopher's Fellowship, London