Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Bereavement and Loss

  • Pui Yan Flora LauEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_505-1



Bereavement refers to the period during which a person adjusts to the death of a significant loved one (Stroebe et al. 2007; Perng and Renz 2018). Given the irreversible nature of death, bereavement is painful and disruptive. There are different types of bereavement, and the death of a spouse is often considered one of the most stressful but inevitable life transitions. It imposes psychosocial, emotional, and physical challenges on the bereaved (Shin et al. 2018).


Bereavement, Loss, and Grief

Emotionally, a bereaved person undergoes normal grief in the early stage of bereavement, where emotions fluctuate in an “oscillating” manner (Zisook et al. 2014). There are two forms of grief: acute grief and integrated grief (See “Emotion”). Acute grief is a preoccupying experience in which the bereaved can develop feelings of disbelief, yearning, longing, and sadness in addition to a full range of other dysphoric emotions such...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyHong Kong Shue Yan UniversityHong KongHong Kong

Section editors and affiliations

  • Joonmo Son
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore