oa Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology - Men's grief, meaning and growth : a phenomenological investigation into the experience of loss

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1445-7377



There is a scarcity of research on men's experience of bereavement (Reiniche, 2006), particularly in relation to qualitative research that focuses on the meaning of such an experience. This paper seeks to address this scarcity by presenting the findings from a phenomenological study of the lifeworlds of a small number of bereaved men. The study looked specifically at how the loss of a spouse influences men's experience of meaning, grief and loss. Three men aged between 32 and 54 years old who had all lost their partners to cancer between 3 and 7 years ago were interviewed. The hermeneutic phenomenological method of Van Manen (1990) was used to uncover three key themes, labelled grief and self-reflection, meaning of life and loss, and refiguring the life-world. These themes are discussed in the light of broader existential concerns and the extant literature.

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