Acceptance of spousal death: The factor of time in bereaved older adults' search for meaning

Wallace Chi Ho Chan, Cecilia L.W. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Response to the death of a spouse was examined by focusing on acceptance, which was conceptualized as both a process and an outcome. Grounded theory was applied to analyze the experience of 15 bereaved Hong Kong Chinese older adults. The main theme that emerged was time. Acceptance of spousal death was found to be related to the search for meaning in 2 time-related themes: timing of spousal death and paradoxical time perception. For paradoxical time perception, 2 subthemes were identified: truncation and daily isolation in time. For bereaved older adults, time-related meaning seeking may be best fostered by self-transcendence, (e.g., participation in volunteer work and social activities).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-162
Number of pages16
JournalDeath Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes

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