Following a ritual perspective, the paper identifies a new form of ritual concerning the corpse, which could facilitate separation and allow the living to look at the deceased without disgust. In order to explore the effect of thanato-aesthetic interventions, the experience of the last glance of the bereaved at their deceased loved ones was analyzed. Twenty interviews were performed in three morgues, and thematic analysis was utilized. The aim was to illustrate how post-mortem grief may be affected by aesthetic manipulation of the corpse and ways in which the bereaved relocate their beloveds. The fundamental hypothesis is that the facilitation of concrete contact with the corpse may assist mourners to detach from the deceased. From the qualitative analysis, three areas of meaning prevalence emerged: Kübler-Ross phases of grief work and the conspiracy of silence; immortality and continuing bonds; and the effects of thanato-aesthetic interventions.

The Last Glance: How Aesthetic Observation of Corpses Facilitates Detachment in Grief Work

Testoni I.
;
Zielo A.;Schiavo C.;Iacona E.
2020

Abstract

Following a ritual perspective, the paper identifies a new form of ritual concerning the corpse, which could facilitate separation and allow the living to look at the deceased without disgust. In order to explore the effect of thanato-aesthetic interventions, the experience of the last glance of the bereaved at their deceased loved ones was analyzed. Twenty interviews were performed in three morgues, and thematic analysis was utilized. The aim was to illustrate how post-mortem grief may be affected by aesthetic manipulation of the corpse and ways in which the bereaved relocate their beloveds. The fundamental hypothesis is that the facilitation of concrete contact with the corpse may assist mourners to detach from the deceased. From the qualitative analysis, three areas of meaning prevalence emerged: Kübler-Ross phases of grief work and the conspiracy of silence; immortality and continuing bonds; and the effects of thanato-aesthetic interventions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3391856
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