chapter  1
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Introduction: The Historical Landscape of Loss: Development of Bereavement Studies: Colin Murray Parkes

ByBereavement Studies

F or most of us, the loss of a loved person is the most severe stress that we will experience, yet the majority will come through this experience without suffering lasting impairment of our physical and mental health. Copious research now enables us to understand why this is not always the case. We are all vulnerable to bereavement, but some are more vulnerable than others; all bereavements are traumatic, but some are more traumatic than others; we all enter a strange and unpredictable world when we suffer a major loss, but some worlds are more hazardous and unpredictable than others. In this volume, we begin to understand the problems that can arise and the solutions that follow from that understanding.