Journal of Religion and Health

, 50:516 | Cite as

Bereavement, Doubt, and the Loved Body: A 9/11 Meditation

  • Kevin V. Kelly


The experience of firefighters at the site of the World Trade Center collapse, especially their fanatic devotion to the task of body recovery, is examined in an effort to understand their motivations. The need to make physical contact with the body of a deceased loved one is considered in light of the Gospel accounts of the disciples’ contact with the resurrected body of Jesus. The need for sensory contact with the loved body is discussed as a crucial element in the process of grief, leading to the process of recovery from traumatic loss.


Trauma Bereavement Grief World Trade Center Firefighters Survivor guilt Helplessness 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City Fire DepartmentNew YorkUSA

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