New Research – Children talk about their own involvement in rituals after a death

Because Im Also Part of the Family. Childrens Participation in Rituals After the Loss of a Parent or Sibling: A Qualitative Study From the Childrens Perspective

The objective of this study was to examine how Norwegian children today are included in death-related rituals after the loss of a parent or sibling, how they experienced their own participation, and to explore the meaning the rituals had for them. Our study indicates that it was very important for the children to be included in the rituals and accordingly be recognized as grievers alongside adults. Being included contributes to legitimating their status as a “full” member of the family system, with an equal status to adult grievers in an important and vulnerable phase of the family’s life. The children were pleased that they through ritual performances were given the opportunity to “see for themselves,” both in order to better comprehend and accept the reality of the loss and to take farewell with their loved ones.

OMEGA–Journal of Death and Dying 73(2):141-158 · June 2016

Gunn Helen Søfting · Atle Dyregrov · Kari Dyregrov