UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Partners in grief : couples' narratives of the transition from pediatric paliative care into bereavement Paley, Nicole


A deep interest in how relationships, specifically romantic partnerships, cope with and survive tragedies, guides this research. My research question was: What are the narratives of intact bereaved couples whose children have died after receiving palliative care for a life-limiting illness? Five couples were interviewed who had lost their children ranging in age from 1-14 years of age. This loss occurred between 2 to 9 years previous to this study. The purpose of this narrative research study was to better understand the ways in which intact marital partners/couples coped together with the stress and grief involved in having a child with a life-limiting condition and then having that child die after receiving palliative care. A secondary aim was to bring forth their voices through their narratives as a means to address the stigmatization and isolation often experienced by those who are bereaved, especially those who have lost a child. This project informs professionals who are working with couples undergoing the struggle of a child's critical illness or who are working with bereaved couples. Each couple's narrative account was written in story format. In addition to the rich information gained from reading the holistic stories, 5 themes emerged through a categorical content analysis which were: 1) the last thing you worry about are issues about us, 2) accommodating one another's coping, 3) recognizing sources of support and limitations, 4) two souls against the world, and 5) we have a common bond : lessons and legacy of the child.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International