A1 Journal article – refereed
Death, loved ones and relationality: continuities and discontinuities

List of Authors: Varjakoski Hanna
Publisher: Routledge
Publication year: 2019
Journal: Mortality
Journal name in source: Mortality


This article explores the bonds between the living and the dead in contemporary Finland. The research data consists of approximately 100 letters collected via a writing call asking respondents to describe their understandings, memories and lived experiences related to deceased loved ones. By using qualitative analysis, the study endeavours to investigate the kinds of relational dimensions that emerge in these continuing bonds. This article looks at the ways in which the dead continue to be embedded in the lives of the living and contribute to the sense of self; it also considers the role of lived experiences, such as encounters with the dead, in creating and maintaining a sense of ongoing connectedness. However, relationships sometimes involve complex and even damaging histories, and this may affect a person’s willingness to continue the bond beyond the grave. Due to this, some relationships are preferably buried with the person. This paper adds to existing studies on continuing bonds by investigating relationality in constructing, maintaining and severing such bonds.

Last updated on 2019-20-07 at 10:40