Title page for ETD etd-12022011-160308


Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Witney, Michael Norman
Email mikew@durbanvillebaptut.co.za
URN etd-12022011-160308
Document Title The role of memory in finding and making meaning in and through grief
Degree Master of Arts
Department Practical Theology
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Prof J Muller Supervisor
Keywords
  • memory
  • grief
  • narrative
  • metaphor
  • meaning making
  • theology
  • Tree of Meaning
  • stories
  • remembering
  • co-research
Date 2011-09-08
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the role of memory in finding and making meaning in and through grief. I use narrative ideas and introduce the Tree of Meaning metaphor as a research model, which assists people find new meaning in their lives, by experiencing, telling and re-telling stories of their lived experiences, including the grief. A qualitative approach was used so that the focus was on co-constructing new meanings, with the co-researchers. The three co-researchers emerged as a natural part of my on-going counselling, using a purposive sampling method in which the co-researchers are selected because of their specialist knowledge. i.e. the loss of a spouse or a child through death. Each co-researcher‘s stories were carefully recorded using the Tree or Meaning metaphor as a vehicle for the storytelling, affording the coresearchers a safe place to tap into their inner child as they explored the stories that would assist them find and make new meanings in their lives. Out of this research journey I concluded that memory is key to meaning-making, because through our memory, we can revise, edit and rewrite our life stories and find new strands of meaning in these stories that connect the past and the future in a way that allows us to find and make meaning of our grief.

AFRIKAANS : Die Doel van hierdie verhandeling is om die rol van die geheue te ondersoek met betrekking tot hoe ons lewens betekenis vind en maak in en deur die rouproses. Ek gebruik verhalende metodes en stel voor die "Boom van Betekenis" beeldspraak voor as 'n navorsingsmodel. Hierdie model help mense om nuwe betekenis vir hul lewens te vind en maak deur hulle rou te ervaar, daarvan te praat en om hulle lewenservarings oor te vertel, insluitend die rouproses wat hulle moes deurmaak. 'n Gehalte benadering is gebruik sodat die fokus op medesamestelling van nuwe betekenisse, saam met die medenavorsers kan plaasvind. Die drie medenavorsers het 'n natuurlike deel geword van my voortgaande berading met die gebruik van 'n doelgerigte toetsmetode, waarby die medenavorsers gebruik is volgens hulle spesiale ervarings, byv. Die afstaan aan die dood van 'n vrou / man of kind. Elke medenavorser se verhaal is noukeurig opgeneem deur gebruik te maak van die "Boom van Betekenis" beeldspraak as 'n voertuig vir die oorvertel van hul verhale. Dit het verseker dat hulle 'n veilige metode gevind het om hulle innerlike kindwees te ondersoek en die verhale uit te lig waardeur hulle nuwe betekenis in die lewe sou kry. Uit hierdie navorsingsgeleentheid het ek afgelei dat geheue die sleutel is om nuwe betekenis vir ons lewens te vind en maak. Dit is deur ons geheue dat ons, ons lewensverhale kan hersien, redigeer en oorskrywe en terselfdertyd nuwe afleidings kan maak, wat die verlede met die toekoms verbind. Sodoende vind ons dan in hulpmiddel om beter betekenis aan die rou te gee.

© 2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Witney, MN 2011, The role of memory in finding and making meaning in and through grief, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-12022011-160308 / >

E11/9/48

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