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Public Grief / Private Grief


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Public Grief/Private Grief

by Kenneth J. Doka

Posted: 28 Jun 2009 06:33 AM PDT, on Hospice Foundation of America's Hospice and Caregiving Blog

This week the world has focused on public loss. The death of Neda in the Iranian protests, the devastation in Washington, D.C. as two trains inexplicably collided and killed nine people, and the deaths of two long-time entertainment favorites, Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett. These notable deaths, covered extensively by the media, were soon overshadowed by a media circus following the sudden death of pop icon Michael Jackson. Throughout the world, there has been an outpouring of grief as people mourn these seemingly larger-than-life losses.

As the world focuses on those very public deaths, it is easy to lose sight of the private tragedies that beset us all. Our own losses seem minimized by the constant “Have you heard?” and later, the millions of mourners expressing their collective public grief on the streets. With so much focus on these losses, there seems little interest in our everyday grief. Click here to read the remainder of this article.

[About the Author: Kenneth J. Doka, PhD, MDiv is a professor of gerontology at the graduate school of The College of New Rochelle. He has written or edited 18 books, including HFA’s Living with Grief series, and has published 60 articles and book chapters. He is editor of Omega, a professional journal on death and dying, and Journeys, HFA’s monthly and special issue bereavement newsletter. Dr. Doka was elected president of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) in 1993. He was elected to the Board of the International Work Group on Dying, Death and Bereavement in 1995, and served as its chairman from 1997 to 1999. In 2006, Dr. Doka was recognized as a mental health counselor under New York State’s first licensure of counselors. He is an ordained Lutheran minister.]

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