Together for Short Lives
Call the Helpline 0808 8088 100

Being a family in the midst of living and dying

Publication year
Syren, S. M.; Saveman, B. I.; Benzein, E. G.

The aim of this study was to illuminate the way of being a family when one family member is in the midst of living and dying. A family systems frame and a life world perspective were used in interviews with five families. A qualitative analysis inspired by Giorgi revealed dialectic and dynamic processes in constant motion within and between the continua being in affinity-being in loneliness, being in power-being in helplessness, and being in continuity-being in disruption. When families were moving in the direction of being in affinity, power, and continuity, these seemed to be prerequisites for enduring their challenged life situation and for giving them a kind of repose. When the movements were in the opposite direction, existential and emotional suffering were manifested as individual embodied experiences such as depression and anxiety.

Research abstracts