Sound continuing bonds with the deceased: the relevance of music, including preloss music therapy for eight bereaved caregivers

Clare O'Callaghan, Fiona Margaret McDermott, Peter Hudson, John Raymond Zalcberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines music s relevance, including preloss music therapy, for 8 informal caregivers of people who died from cancer. The design was informed by constructivist grounded theory and included semistructured interviews. Bereaved caregivers were supported or occasionally challenged as their musical lives enabled a connection with the deceased. Music was often still used to improve mood and sometimes used to confront grief. Specific music, however, was sometimes avoided to minimize sadness. Continuing bonds theory s focus on connecting with the deceased through memory and imagery engagement may expand to encompass musical memories, reworking the meaning of familiar music, and discovering new music related to the deceased. Preloss music involvement, including music therapy, between dying patients and families can help in bereavement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101 - 125
Number of pages25
JournalDeath Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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