“But What About Us?” The residual effects of sudden death on self- identity and family relationships
The death of an offspring is described as the most traumatic of losses when the death is 'sudden and unexpected', and is one which can affect family equilibrium. Borrowing from Timmermans' (1994) autobiographical ethnography of death and dying, and the author's personal experiences with terminal illness, this paper will use an introspective ethnographic approach to offer an account of my own experience of coping with the death of a family member. Through the use of participant observation and individual case study, it will present an insight into the residual effects of 'sudden death' upon those who are left behind - the mother, the father, sisters and brothers-and explore and identify possible changes in constructs of self and self-identity, the effects on inter/intra familial relationships, male/female expressiveness/inexpressiveness, and religious and world philosophies. The implications of the research are considered.
Citation : Handsley, S. (2001) “But What About Us?” The residual effects of sudden death on self- identity and family relationships. Mortality, 6 (1), pp. 9-29
Peer Reviewed : Yes