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  • Author or Editor: Nate Hinerman x

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Nate Hinerman

This paper examines how we might use personal grief archives (such as those constructed in a classroom, explained below) as a way to study community-wide outpourings of grief and the archives they produce following tragedies labelled as ‘public’ and/or ‘national.’ The theoretical nature of this paper considers personal grief archives as a way to reflect on death attitudes derived from various agents of socialisation. In this case, the personal archives discussed result from a series of in-class writing assignments that include death inventories, childhood loss/early thoughts about death diaries, questionnaires about life-threatening illness and death fears, advance directives, and ethical wills. The practical nature of this paper considers a pedagogical mechanism to approach the events of September 11th, 2001 in light of personally constructed grief archives. My research will elaborate how meaning-making on the individual level in times of loss provides a vital lens through which to consider, to critique, and ultimately to evaluate the meaning assigned to those same events vis-à-vis more ‘national’ or ‘public’ stages. Every death, like any archive, tells a story. Sharing these stories can provide emotional relief and promote a search for meaning. Grief archives can function as a means to bring people together in mutual support during a time of loss. Grief archives also assist individuals and communities to revise, reform, and continue relationships with the deceased over time. Bonds sustained through memories and linking objects serve as ‘threads of connectedness’ to those deceased whose deaths are grieved and remembered. They also form complex (and sometimes problematic) lineages through which individuals preserve, (re-)orient and (re-)frame their own histories/identities within the context of a larger societal matrix.

Nate Hinerman

This chapter elaborates upon the ways in which hospice and palliative care utilize spirituality and culturally sensitive care to enhance a patient’s quality of life.

Nate Hinerman

Using an inter-disciplinary approach, this chapter argues that discussions of suffering, even those broadly conceived, must move beyond mere academic postulations that assert suffering as a phenomenological ‘given,’ a feature of human experience so naturally inherent that no human response can augment its impact. Such uninvolved approaches toward suffering too often render apathetic responses to real human tragedies. This chapter explores both the inward experience of suffering, the myriad causes of suffering, and how, in some cases, such suffering can be articulated, understood, and even overcome in certain circumstances. Analysis is also given to the role meta-narratives have in framing conversations about suffering, and how such narratives can mitigate the concrete circumstances that give rise to suffering (or maintain it).

Nate Hinerman

This chapter elaborates recent and seminal hospice and palliative care research which expands latent ethical issues commonly faced at life’s end, and discusses practical ways to address these morally complex dilemmas as they emerge in clinical encounters with clients and their families. This chapter also explains how certain types of community-based palliative care models are finding new ways to deliver higher care quality, at a reduced cost, and even more, why increasing numbers of patients are living longer with palliative support and despite reduced curative interventions. The sum of these efficacious outcomes has hospital administrators in the U.S. re-considering the role of patient care throughout myriad care-delivery systems. This chapter describes why these burgeoning trends may signal more watershed changes in how quality of care is perceived, and delivered.

Nate Hinerman

Clinical caregivers, including physicians, nurses, social workers, and chaplains, cultivate habits particular to their respective disciplines. In our medical communities, such habits naturally provide guides for caregiving and assessment. Although habits can start off thoughtful, well-intentioned, and reflective, they quickly can become routinized during implementation. Given our respective trainings, our particular care setting’s regulatory requirements, and the larger ‘culture of care’ each care setting manifests, the following challenge arises: how can caregivers keep their (inter-)actions with clients from becoming overly rigid and routine? Given newly evolving care paradigms, and in the context of current medical models, how might caregivers attend to and serve each client’s life narrative, cultural identity, goals for care, affections, and/or religious understandings sensitively, especially given overburdened care delivery environments? Caregivers who conduct their practice demonstrating unreflective care habits may be prone to overlook the uniqueness of each clinical encounter. This chapter considers the relationship between habit-taking and caregiving at life’s end in light of increasingly common ‘producers vs. consumers’ health care models.

Edited by Lloyd Steffen and Nate Hinerman

This inter- and multi-disciplinary volume examines how culture impacts care for the dying, the overall experience of dying, and ways the dead are remembered. Over the past three decades, scholarship in thanatology has increased dramatically. This text localizes a broad array of perspectives that research, analyze, and interpret the many interrelations and interactions that exist between death and culture. Culture not only presents and portrays ideas about ‘a good death’ and norms that seek to achieve it, but culture also operates as both a vehicle and medium through which meaning about death is communicated and understood. Sadly, too, culture sometimes facilitates death through violence.

Lloyd Steffen and Nate Hinerman