• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Dying is a social as well as physiological phenomenon. Each society characterizes and, consequently, treats death and dying in its own individual ways—ways that differ markedly. These particular patterns of death and dying engender modal cultural responses, and such institutionalized behavior has familiar, economical, educational, religious, and political implications. The Handbook of Death and Dying takes stock of the vast literature in the field.

Children and the Death of a Parent
Children and the death of a parent

Mary Gordon lost her father when she was only 7, barely old enough to remember with any accuracy his presence in her life, who he was, how he lived and experienced his life situations, or even the content of his character. She is like so many adults who lost a parent when they were young, before having a chance to grow up and know that parent with the insight and maturity of an adult mind. What Mary did know was clear: His death ended her childhood, with its innocence, its security, its belief in life's endurance, and even its sense of home. Her father's death “split [her life] in two, into the ...

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