Part One: Loss as Individual and Collective

  • Maram Masarwi
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Cultural Heritage and Conflict book series (PSCHC)


Part One of the five main chapters that follow, Loss as individual and collective, deals with the impact of traumatic loss on the bereaved parents and addresses the sudden breakdown of the bereaved parents’ basic existential assumptions, as they seek to understand and explain the meaning of life and death. The parents I interviewed had diverse responses along a spectrum of teleological reactions to their loss and their trauma. The responses of these parents are arrayed along two planes, the individual/personal and the collective/national. On the individual plane, news of the traumatic loss of their child generally came to the parents quite suddenly, as a complete surprise, leaving them devastated and with little interest in living; later on, they come to feel that time is not healing, but rather the opposite. The loss is correlated with deterioration in the parents’ health and in their cognitive functioning. With regard to the collective national level, the findings show that the rather frequent incidence of this kind of trauma in Palestinian society tends to perpetuate the bereaved parents’ feelings of loss, turning the experience of their private bereavement into an ongoing trauma and intensifying their feelings of loss, fear and insecurity. This chapter elucidates the connection between the private grief of bereaved Palestinian parents and the grief that is felt on the national plane.


  1. Avezur, A. (1987). Mashavem Esheem Ve Hevrateem, Hfraa post Traumatet Ve Tefkod Mektzuee ve Ben Eshe, Leahar Heshtatfot Bekrav, Mehkar Aroch Tvah [Personal and social resources, post-traumatic and professional and interpersonal functioning after participation in combat, long-term research], MA Diss., Bar Ilan University.Google Scholar
  2. Khamis, V. (2000). Political violence and the Palestinian family: Implications for mental health and well being. Oxford: The Haworth Press.Google Scholar
  3. Loo, C. M., & Kiang, P. N. (2003). Race—Related stressors and psychological trauma: Contributions of Asian American Vietnam Veterans. In L. Zhan (Ed.), Asian American: Vulnerable population, model intervention and clarifying agendas (pp. 19–42). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett.Google Scholar
  4. Maghasleh, G. (2003). Edtrab al-sdma sl-asbia al-mtalika bal-shhada oal-sjeen ohdm albiot fi mhafzt bet lhm [Post-traumatic stress disorder related to bereavement, imprisonment and destruction of houses in Bethlehem] (Master's thesis). Al-Quds University, Jerusalem.Google Scholar
  5. Noy, S. (2000). Modlim lhvnt htgova ltrwma kseoaa lgebosh ekronot htipol b trauma ob- post trauma [Models for understanding the response to trauma as an aid in formulating the principles of trauma and post-traumatic therapy]. In A. Kolingman, A. Rbeb, & B. Shteen (Eds.), Eldeem bmtsve lkhts okherom. Mafenem ohetarvot psychologit [Children in stress and emergency situations: Characteristics and psychological interventions] (pp. 57–142). Jerusalem: Ministry of Education, Pedagogical Director, Psychological Counseling Service.Google Scholar
  6. Raphael, B., & Wooding, S. (2004). Early mental health interventions for traumatic loss in adults. In B. T. Litz (Ed.), Early intervention for trauma and traumatic loss (pp. 147–178). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maram Masarwi
    • 1
  1. 1.Minerva Humanities CenterTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

Personalised recommendations