Still part of the family: the importance of physical, emotional and spiritual memorial places and spaces for parents bereaved through the suicide death of their son or daughter.
Maple, M.~~Edwards, H.~~et al.
Research undertaken to explain the experience of those bereaved by suicide has gained momentum over the past decade. This increase in activity assists those seeking to support people bereaved by suicide to better understand their needs. However, the literature in this area remains limited. This qualitative research data discussed here provides an in-depth, narrative exploration of a sample of 22 parental experiences following the suicide death of a young adult child. Contrary to the classic grief literature, a key finding of this study is that parents need to maintain a relationship with their child. The ways in which parents do this is many and varied ranging from public and private memorials to internal dialogues. However, the practices associated with remaining connected emotionally and/or spiritually occurred in the absence of socially condoned ways in which to honour such memorial places and spaces. This paper will present deep and complex narratives of parents who participated in this research to present and explore the varied ways in which memorials (as physical, emotional, spiritual spaces and places) are developed in the wake of suicide death.