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Loss and Grief Research

Key Research Areas

Experiences of loss and grief, both death-related and non-death related, across the lifespan

Research Mission

The aim of the Loss and Grief Research Group is to support and encourage creative social sciences research in the areas of grief and loss across the lifespan in Ireland and internationally.

We support and promote research around traditional topics such as death, bereavement, mourning, and suicide, but would also focus on how human beings experience non-death related losses.  The group provides support, assistance, and opportunities for collaboration and reflection on current research practice and approaches, with a particular emphasis on increasing public awareness of the effects of loss and community-based interventions that encourage the effective emotional understanding and management of grief.  Inspired by the disciplines of thanatology and bereavement intervention, the group takes a unique multidisciplinary approach towards the examination of grief and loss in Ireland as it is encountered in various life events.  We lead and collaborate on projects that bring socially-engaged, creative arts-based events and projects to the public as a way to acknowledge, understand, honour and transmute experiences of grief and loss.

Overview of Research Activity

The Loss and Grief group has led postgraduate research projects resulting in MA awards and community research projects on behalf of several partnering organisations.

In 2021, current postgraduate research projects include:

  • an exploration of the use of pro-suicide websites and how they may contribute to suicide prevention efforts 
  • patterns of grief and mourning following significant bereavement in adult blended families in Ireland
Completed postgraduate MA research includes:
  • the experiences of loss and grief for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren
  • how older people in Limerick view emotional resilience and the most challenging times of their lives 
  • how competitive Irish dancers experience the end of their international competitive careers
  • cultural grief and resilience for refugees and asylum-seekers in the Limerick City area 
  • the effects of creative therapies for bereaved children and young people
  • how adapted Ceili dance can improve psychosocial functioning for people living with dementia and their carers 
  • A PhD project focusing on older Trans women’s experiences of loss and grief within their families was completed in 2020.
Vision for Developing Research

Collaborative relationships have been established between the Loss and Grief group and the following organisations:

Transgender Equality Network Ireland
Children’s Grief Centre Limerick
Age Action Ireland
An Chomhdháil - The Congress of Irish Dance Teachers
Embrace FARM
Irish Hospice Foundation
Irish Children’s Bereavement Network
PAUL Partnership
Lumen Street Theatre
Jacinta’s Smile
Traveller Health Unit – HSE Midwest
Death Café Limerick
Munster Academy of Dance

Loss and Grief Group Researchers

Jennifer Moran Stritch – Director
Dr. Michelle O’Flanagan – Supervisor
Carmel McKenna – Co-Supervisor
Dr. Frank Houghton – Co-Supervisor
Carmel Bracken – Supervisor
Dr. Amanda Haynes, University of Limerick – Co-Supervisor