Parental discourse and activism as a response to bereavement of fallen sons and civilian terrorist victims

Udi Lebel, Natti Ronel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study is a phenomenological exploration of bereavement among a population of Israeli parents who became demonstratively activist following the death of their offspring either as soldiers in the line of duty or as victims of terrorism. It illuminates how an anger-forgiveness continuum gives a politically charged significance to the bereavement experience regardless of party or ideological orientation. Strong nationalist identification with the armed forces is overlaid with intense personal emotions of guilt and blame assignment. Mourning as a career may follow pathological or normative courses. Political leaders emerge who mobilize similarly situated mourners to protest against military and civilian policy related to the perceived nexus between security matters and the personal loss. The dynamic between factors which assuage personal needs and simultaneously endanger national consensus regarding the performance of leading state institutions-the government and the defense establishment-is underlined in the conditions which both facilitate and impair any transition from anger to reconciliation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-405
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Parental discourse and activism as a response to bereavement of fallen sons and civilian terrorist victims'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this