chapter  16
19 Pages

Grief After Terrorism: Toward a Family-Focused Intervention: Grace H. Christ, Dianne Kane, and Heidi Horsley

A question frequently asked when we present our bereavement program developed for widows and children of New York –re–ghters killed in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001, is whether there are differences in the grief associated with that form of traumatic loss and grief associated with other sudden, traumatic forms of death. The literature suggests there are more similarities than differences between the processes of recovering from a terrorist attack and from a natural disaster (Herrmann & Anders, 2006; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS], 2004). The authors have typically recommended analyzing every disaster in relation to its unique characteristics of onset, duration, scope, and degree of impact. Suggested differences are often subjective. Relative to natural disasters, terrorist attacks engender more fear, ongoing feelings of threat, anger, desire for revenge, and sense of the disruption of the social order.