Monday, February 1, 2010

Grief and Mourning: History, Culture, & Science

Meghan O'Rourke
In the February 1, 2010 issue of The New Yorker, writer and bereaved daughter Meghan O’Rourke explores the history, culture and science of mourning and grief in her comprehensive and well written article, Good Grief: Is There a Better Way to Be Bereaved?

In the accompanying podcast, Losing Rituals, New Yorker Out Loud host Blake Eskin talks with Meghan about her own mother’s death and the loss of mourning rituals in American culture. Topics include mourning rituals and expressing condolences, the difference between grief and mourning, the stages theory of grief, what is normal in grief, public vs. private mourning, the role of the Internet as community in grief, the concept of resilience, and the importance of being patient with the process.

A contributing writer for the online magazine Slate, Meghan O'Rourke also has documented her journey through mother loss and grief  in the eight-part series Grieving: A Study of Bereavement


  1. What a comprehensive and humane overview of grief, including the "correction" of Kubler-Ross's stages -- thanks for this article, Marty!

  2. I agree, Kris ~ one of the best articles I've read on grief. Be sure to listen to the podcast, too, when you have time. It's a great interview. I understand that soon Meghan O'Rourke will be publishing a book based on her experience with the terminal illness and death of her mother ~ and I'll be watching for it!


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