Title

Belief in Afterlife as a Buffer in Suicidal and Other Bereavement

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1992

Department

Psychology

Abstract

To assess whether degree of belief in afterlife enhanced bereavement recovery following different types of death (suicide, homicide, accidental, and natural), 121 bereaved persons (31% of those asked) whose names were obtained from funeral homes or bereavement groups completed scales measuring belief in afterlife, impact of event, perceived recovery, spiritual well-being emotional pain, and social support. Multivariate main effects were found for cause of death and high versus low belief in afterlife. Univariate analyses indicated that suicidally bereaved individuals reported feeling less acceptance and, along with those bereaved by accidental death, finding less meaning in the death than those bereaved by other causes. Those with relatively high belief felt relatively more recovery and well-being, and less actively avoided thinking of the death. Apparently the feeling of recovery following bereavement is enhanced by high belief in afterlife, and diminished by losing the loved one via suicide or accident.

Publication Title

OMEGA-Journal of Death and Dying

Volume

24

Issue

3

First Page

217

Last Page

225