Sorrow and Solace : The Social World of the Cemetery book cover
1st Edition

Sorrow and Solace
The Social World of the Cemetery

ISBN 9780415785273
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
180 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $46.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Sorrow and Solace focuses on the importance of cemeteries in the lives of everyday mourners, and ways in which our bereaved give meaning to and draw value from their commemorative activities. The death of someone dear to us is among the most momentous life event that we experience. In many societies, visiting the grave or memorial is a common behavioural response to bereavement. Memorial sites provide vital connections to our deceased loved ones with whom we wish to maintain ongoing social bonds, and cemeteries are crucial places of deep healing and growth. Millions of visits are made to cemeteries every day, but the extent of this activity and its value to those who mourn - the topics of this volume - have long remained largely unrecognised. Large urban memorial parks are hives of activity for recently bereaved persons, and are among the most visited places in Western communities. Some cemeteries, hosting millions of annual visits, are more popular than many major tourist attractions. Cemetery visitation is a high-participatory, value-laden, expressive activity, and a most significant observable behaviour of the recently bereaved. This work will be invaluable to those seeking a scholarly understanding of bereavement, mourning, and commemoration. Written principally for professionals with a tertiary educational interest in related fields, such as grief educators, nurses, palliative carers, and social workers, it is also an important resource for the further education of other carers and service providers, including psychologists, physicians, counsellors, clergy, funeral directors, cemetery administrators, and monumental masons. The book is also a significant contribution to the field of social anthropology.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Evolution of the Cemetery Milieu
 Recent Centuries
 Garden Cemeteries
 Railway Access
 Memorial Parks

Chapter 2. Death Today
 When We Die
 Why We Die
 Where We Die

Chapter 3. Concepts of Bereavement and Grief
 Bereavement Theories
 Grief Processes
 Sociological Perspectives
 Accommodation of Grief
 Impacts of Grief and Trauma

Chapter 4. Research Methodologies
 Quantitative Methodology
 Naturalistic Observation
 Qualitative Methodology

Chapter 5. Visitation Patterns
 Significance of Cemetery Visitation

Chapter 6. Social Factors
 Education and Employment

Chapter 7. Cultural Factors
 Specific Religious Practices
 Primary Service

Chapter 8. Visitation Reasons
 Emotional Bond
 Other Reasons
 Summary of Visitation Reasons

Chapter 9. Visitation Activities
 Placing Flowers
 Maintaining the Grave or Memorial
 Talking to the Decedent
 Other Activities
 Summary of Visitation Activities

Chapter 10. Emotions 
 Emotional Change
 Summary of Visitation Emotions

Chapter 11. Frequency 
 Turning Points
 Summary of Visitation Frequency

Chapter 12. Non-Visitation Reasons
 Non-Interment of Remains
 Inability to Access the Cemetery
 Grief Repression
 Religious Restrictions
 No Perceived Need to Visit
 Summary of Non-Visitation Reasons

Chapter 13. Personal Values 
 The Funeral
 The Cemetery
 The Memorial

Chapter 14. Working Through Grief
 The Place of the Cemetery Within Contexts of Grief

 Index About the Author

View More



Philip Bachelor is past President of the Cemeteries & Crematoria Association of Victoria, and honorary Secretary of the Centre for Grief Education in Melbourne.