Configurations of time in bereaved parents' narratives

Adi Barak*, Ronit D. Leichtentritt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In this study, we examined the configurations of time within narratives of bereaved Israeli parents, employing Gadamer's hermeneutic philosophy as the research methodology. Our results reveal that following a sudden violent loss, parents experienced a change in their sense of time. Three nonexclusive time possibilities were evident in the participants' narratives: time stopped, time moved forward, and time moved backward. Although most of the social science literature highlights the importance of linear temporal configuration to enhance the coherence of text, based on our study we call for other forms of temporal ordering, as varied time configurations were used by the bereaved and were perceived to have beneficial outcomes. Finally, we outline implications for mental health professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1090-1101
Number of pages12
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Art
  • Bereavement / grief
  • Gadamer
  • Narrative inquiry
  • Trauma


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