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The lived experiences of romantic relationships following child loss
Erin Buhr (author)Derrick Klaassen (thesis supervisor)Briana N. Goff (second reader)Paige Toller (external examiner)Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
This study examined the impact a child’s death had on bereaved parent’s relationships with their significant other utilizing phenomenology. The research question was “what was the experience of the relationship with your significant other following the loss of your child?” Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight participants. Themes included: The relationship changed after the child’s death; Communication was important to the relationship dynamic; Grieving differences existed and impacted the relationship; Specific behaviours were identified that had the potential to facilitate or harm; Individual grief impacted the relationship; Couples’ utilized additional emotional support outside the relationship; Sex decreased. The themes were discussed within the context of the larger bereavement literature which included grieving differences, continuing bonds, and trauma models for couples. Themes were also discussed with regard for how to provide informed counselling interventions for bereaved parents, such as addressing issues that may arise because of grieving differences.
Bereavement – Psychological aspects.Children – Death.