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Study Shows Grief Takes Many Forms and Experiences

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Researchers at the University of York, involved in the AHRC-funded project, have collected and made publicly available a substantial body of testimony describing first-person experiences of grief.

The researchers point out that most people are affected profoundly by bereavement at some point in their lives, but the experience of grief remains poorly understood. Those grieving often remark that aspects of their grief are bewildering, isolating, hard to articulate, and difficult or impossible for others to comprehend.

Project lead Professor Matthew Ratcliffe from the department of philosophy said: “We developed this study to investigate various aspects of grief that people find bewildering and difficult to make sense of, as well as to explore some of the many different ways in which grief is experienced. It is part of a larger project that seeks to investigate experiences of grief in all its complexity and diversity.”

Louise Richardson, also from the department of philosophy, who worked on the study, said: “We hope that the survey will be helpful for those experiencing grief, supporting others through grief, as well as a wide range of people whose work involves bereavement and loss more generally.”

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