Death in the Finnish family: Experiences of spousal bereavement


Correspondence: MarjaKaunonen University of Tampere, Department of Nursing Science, PO Box 607, FIN-33101, Tampere, Finland


In this study dimensions of grief were examined using the Hogan model for widowed Finns. The aspects of loss were analyzed from the answers to an open-ended question. The study group consisted of 242 widows and 76 widowers, whose spouse died more than 6 months prior to the data collection. The numerical data were analyzed to determine whether dimensions of grief were gender related. Content analysis was used when analyzing the written answers. The findings of the study demonstrate that there are gender differences in the expressions of grief after the death of a spouse. Widows expressed significantly more intense feelings of panic behaviour than widowers. Both widows and widowers grieved about how to survive after the death of their spouse. Both groups found their families and friends to be the most important source of support when trying to cope with their grief.