• Kristoffer Bo Alberg
6. semester, Psykologi, Bachelor (Bacheloruddannelse)
This thesis aims to investigate young people’s experiences of losing a close family member through the problem statement:
How do young people experience grief over the loss of a close family member? And if they could take away the grief, would they?

The research takes on a phenomenological approach. The methodological frame-work consists of the qualitative research method of semi-structured interviews, where five young Danish females that have experienced the loss of a close family member are interviewed. The interviews were conducted using an interview guide where the first part focused on experiences of the loss and the participants’ under-standing of grief and represented the first part of the problem statement. The second part of the interview focused on a thought experiment that consisted of the ques-tion: If there were a pill that could remove grief completely, would you take it? This represented the second part of the problem statement. Subsequently, the interviews were transcribed. The interviews were then analyzed with the analysis method in-terpretative phenomenological analysis. The analysis identified three main themes and nine sub-themes. The theoretical framework consisted of psychological litera-ture where Sigmund Freuds grief work theory, Margaret Stroebe and Henk Schuts dual process model of coping with bereavement, Dennis Klass, Phyllis R. Silverman and Steven L. Nickman theory of continuing bonds and Richard G. Tedeschi and Lawrence G. Calhoun theory of posttraumatic growth were included.
The first main theme, grief understandings, is a description of how young females understand grief and how previous experiences with grief differ from the loss of a close family member. The main theme consisted of two sub-themes. The theme illustrated that grief is something that is difficult to describe and relate to, and at the same that there was no doubt that what they experienced after the loss was grief. The participants experienced grief as an emotional pain, but grief also consisted of more than psychological pain. The analysis showed how it is difficult for young women to describe exactly what it is that they are experiencing and to differentiate between what was grief and what was not grief.
The second main theme, the thought experiment, is a description of how young women relate to the notion of grief as a choice. The main theme consists of four sub-themes. The informants’ responses illuminated their intuitive under-standing of grief. In relation to the young women who experienced personal devel-opments and included this in their understanding of grief, the analysis showed how it was a decisive factor in opting out of the option to take a pill that would remove grief. The analysis also showed how including the relationship with the deceased as part of the grief played a role in the choice.
The third main theme, grief in relation to others, describes how young women experience grief in relation to others. The main theme has tree sub-themes. The analysis showed how grieving young women experience that their understand-ings of the lost person change after the loss. This illustrated how the loss of a close family member can lead to reflections on what the relationship with the lost person was like, which can lead to a transformation of the relation. The analysis also showed how it could be difficult to talk with the family about grief, and how it could be easier to talk to others. Despite it being easier there exists a desire to be able to share one’s grief with close family that also knew the deceased. The partici-pants experienced how they were met differently by other people after the loss of a close family member. The analysis showed how they experienced that their ways of acting and reacting became associated with their experiences of loss.

Overall, the findings of this thesis provided valuable insight into the ways in which young women experience grief and demonstrated the complexity and multifaceted nature of grief. These findings have important implications for the support and care of individuals who are grieving and suggest that, for some people, the grieving pro-cess can be a transformative experience that leads to personal growth, and for some, grief is something they would choose to keep.
Udgivelsesdato6 jan. 2023
ID: 509085278