Sorrow and Solace focuses on the importance of cemeteries in the lives of everyday mourners, and ways in which our bereaved give meaning to and draw value from their commemorative activities. The death of someone dear to us is among the most momentous life event that we experience. In many societies, visiting the grave or memorial is a common behavioural response to bereavement. Memorial sites provide vital connections to our deceased loved ones with whom we wish to maintain ongoing social bonds, and cemeteries are crucial places of deep healing and growth. Millions of visits are made to cemeteries every day, but the extent of this activity and its value to those who mourn - the topics of this volume - have long remained largely unrecognised. Large urban memorial parks are hives of activity for recently bereaved persons, and are among the most visited places in Western communities. Some cemeteries, hosting millions of annual visits, are more popular than many major tourist attractions. Cemetery visitation is a high-participatory, value-laden, expressive activity, and a most significant observable behaviour of the recently bereaved.
This work will be invaluable to those seeking a scholarly understanding of bereavement, mourning, and commemoration. Written principally for professionals with a tertiary educational interest in related fields, such as grief educators, nurses, palliative carers, and social workers, it is also an important resource for the further education of other carers and service providers, including psychologists, physicians, counsellors, clergy, funeral directors, cemetery administrators, and monumental masons. The book is also a significant contribution to the field of social anthropology.