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Revista Mal Estar e Subjetividade

Print version ISSN 1518-6148


BARBOSA, Caroline Garpelli; NEME, Carmen Maria Bueno  and  MELCHIORI, Lígia Ebner. Family and the individual vital course: trigeracional understanding about death and dying. Rev. Mal-Estar Subj. [online]. 2011, vol.11, n.3, pp. 967-1011. ISSN 1518-6148.

The death has been considered a forbidden issue. The development of studies that promote reflections about it allows the enlargement of the understanding, not only about death, but also about life, once both are related during the human existence. This research aims an understanding of death's conceptions and meanings inside one family, involving three different generations. For this goal, through phenomenological methodology, an adolescent, both his parents and the grandfather, all belonging to the same family, were interviewed individually. After understanding the experiences of the participants' six categories were developed: a) Meanings of death; b) The death itself; c) The death of another and/or its possibility; d) Sources of support in relation to death; e) The family in the presence of death; f) Life on the inevitability of death. From these categories, the data were described and analyzed phenomenologically. The participants showed similar reports in several occasions, confirming that the family's members everyday experiences lead the family to a peculiar way to understand and interpret their experiences. Such family iden-tity, however, did not prevent each participant to develop his particular story, anchored in idio-syncratic elements and associated with the stage of the life cycle. The reports showed that the prohibition of death in society and in the family is still very present, hindering communication and the sharing of feelings and conceptions of death in everyday life. This study allowed the partici-pants to reflect on their experiences around the phenomenon of death and, consequently, on the inseparable relationship between living and dying. It has also reiterated the literature, showing a similarity of views among the family members of three generations on a vital and potentially im-pacting phenomenon, in the life cycle of individual and family.

Keywords : Death; family; phenomenology; vital cycle.

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