Navigating the paradox: Strategies utilized by pregnant widows in an attempt to reconcile life and death

Michal Mahat Shamir*, Ronit D. Leichtentritt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Losing a spouse is a traumatic experience, especially at a younger age. This experience is arguably more intense and complex if the woman becomes a widow while pregnant. In the current study, we examined the strategies Israeli women who became widows while pregnant utilized to reconcile life and death. Twelve adult women who became widows while pregnant participated in this study, which involved in-depth semi-structured interviews. A thematic analysis of the interview content revealed four main strategies utilized to reconcile their simultaneous paradoxical experience of both life and death: Passiveness–focusing on neither life nor death; Segregation–focusing on either life or death; Continuum–perceiving life and death are the same; and Integration–coming to terms with both life and death. The women commonly utilized multiple strategies while navigating this paradox, with most participants using all four at some point during their attempted reconciliation process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-846
Number of pages11
JournalDeath Studies
Volume48
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024

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