Shattered Grief

How the Pandemic Transformed the Spirituality of Death in America

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Pub Date 02 Jul 2024 | Archive Date 09 Oct 2024

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Description

The COVID-19 pandemic left millions grieving their loved ones without the consolation of traditional ways of mourning. Patients were admitted to hospitals and never seen again. Social distancing often meant conventional funerals could not be held. Religious communities of all kinds were disrupted at the exact moment mourners turned to them for support. These unprecedented circumstances caused dramatic transformations of not only communal rituals but also how people make meaning after the losses of loved ones.

Shattered Grief is an intimate portrait of how COVID-19 changed the ways Americans approach, understand, and mourn death. Based on extensive interviews incorporating a multitude of perspectives—including funerary and medical professionals, religious leaders, grief counselors, death doulas, spirit mediums, community organizers, and those who lost loved ones—it provides a snapshot of how people renegotiated spiritual and religious traditions, worldviews, identities, and communities during the deadliest pandemic in a century. Through these diverse and powerful voices, Natasha L. Mikles tells the story of spiritual innovation, religious change, and the struggle to achieve personal and national self-understanding against the backdrop of mass casualties. Compelling and accessible, Shattered Grief is an essential book for a range of readers interested in how we make sense of death and dying.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Natasha L. Mikles is an assistant professor at Texas State University. Her research interests revolve around lived interpretations of death, mourning, and the afterlife in diverse religious traditions ranging from contemporary American spirituality to nineteenth-century Tibetan Buddhism.

The COVID-19 pandemic left millions grieving their loved ones without the consolation of traditional ways of mourning. Patients were admitted to hospitals and never seen again. Social distancing...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9780231211475
PRICE $28.00 (USD)
PAGES 232

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