chapter  2
14 Pages

Meaning Reconstruction in Bereavement: From Principles to Practice: Robert A. Neimeyer and Diana C. Sands

T o a far greater extent than other animals, we as human beings are distin-guished by living not only in a present, physical world, but also in a world populated by long-term memories, long-range anticipations, re‹ections, goals, interpretations, hopes, regrets, beliefs, and metaphors-in a word, meanings. Indeed, it is this capacity to construct and inhabit a symbolic world that permits us to embroider experience with language, to speak and be heard, and to relate, revise, and resist stories of the events of our day or the entirety of our lives. In “acts of meaning,” as Jerome Bruner (1990) once phrased it, we seek an order, a foundation, a plan, a signi–cance in human existence, particularly our own.