Challenging the dominant paradigm that relationships with the deceased must be terminated, our goal in this article is to exemplify how these relationships can be maintained. We demonstrate, in particular, how friends with a similar loss can help one another continue bonds with their deceased loved ones. Having both lost our mothers as young adults, we provide personal insight about this process and the ways in which our friendship has been influential in maintaining strong, posthumous connections with our mothers. By sharing our personal experiences, we illustrate that continuing bonds with the deceased is not a pathological choice, but rather a mechanism through which we can enrich our lives, open spaces for emotional growth, and understand ourselves as well as our deceased loved ones better.
Sudden Death, Sudden Friend: Exploring the Role of Friendship in Continuing Bonds with the Deceased
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Tasha R. Rennels, Blake A. Paxton; Sudden Death, Sudden Friend: Exploring the Role of Friendship in Continuing Bonds with the Deceased. Qualitative Communication Research 1 June 2013; 2 (2): 182–212. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/qcr.2013.2.2.182
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