Through interviews and analysis, the author explores the healing process within the family context, and looks at the dynamics at work in families in which a member has died. With a keen sense of empathy, the author shares stories which show how, gradually, families come to terms with their grief and make sense of the death, as time goes by.
This `family meaning-making' is not a linear process; it is alternately stimulated and inhibited within a family. The author draws conclusions from her research about which particular social factors and conditions play a role in the overall outcome. She succeeds in showing not only how different families cope with death within the family, but also how skilful and sensitive field research is done.