Mourning in community


The unwanted loneliness after the loss of a loved one reveals one of the last taboo topics of our society. Many grieving people experience the powerlessness, helplessness and speechlessness of their environment and suffer from social isolation. The absence of others, the feeling of being thrown back on oneself during the time of parting, makes mourning and finding one's way back into life more difficult.

That completely different conventions are possible is shown to us by the mourners in the Balkans: here, farewells are lived through together, suffering is experienced together. This results in a conscious, self-determined way of dealing with grief that can give us back control over these powerful feelings.

In this book, Ulrike Reimann follows in the footsteps of the mourners, these "hosts of mourning. With great empathy and respect, she succeeds in gaining insights into this culture of communal mourning, which is unknown to us. The findings lead to a vision of "mourning laboratories": spaces in which saying goodbye as well as a self-confident and self-determined way of dealing with death and loss can be practiced and learned.



A book about grief that needs community to be lived through. It describes ancient European mourning practices and cultural techniques in which partings could be lived through together and grief could be experienced together. The result is a conscious, self-determined approach to grief that can give us back control over these powerful feelings.


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