Author Credentials

Father Michael J. Gilsenan, ss.cc

Date of Award

1-1-1979

Document Type

Research Paper

Superseded Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (Special Religious Education)

Colleges & School

Cardinal Stritch College

Degree Granted By

Cardinal Stritch College

First Advisor

Sister Gabrielle Kowalski, O.S.F.

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Children with mental disabilities--Death and burial

Abstract

What does the death and burial of the person with mental retardation really mean to parents, friends, and to the reader? This paper is an attempt to answer this question by reviewing the literature regarding the emotions, feelings and reactions of the parents to the death of the person with mental retardation. It will attempt to present some pastoral guidelines for the clergy and all who work with people with mental retardation. It will attempt to provide some support for the parents who have lived the joy and the sorrow. This paper will not deal with the process of death itself, nor with the understanding of feelings, emotions, and reactions toward death in general of the person with mental retardation. It will not deal with the personal reactions of persons with mental retardation toward their own deaths. It will attempt to review the literature regarding the parents' feelings and reactions to the birth of the child who is diagnosed as having some degree of mental retardation, especially to a moderate, severe or profound degree. It will review the literature regarding the chronic sorrow and mourning of the parents following the birth of the child with mental retardation. Literature regarding pre-death and the parents' reactions to terminal illness in their child, as well as the treatment and care of the severely and profoundly handicapped child during this time, will be reviewed. The author will attempt to describe the secular, Jewish and Christian understandings of death. The funeral rite will be reviewed, especially as it relates to the Judeo-Christian tradition. From this review of the literature conclusions will be drawn to assist the parents, the clergy and the reader at the moment of the death and burial of the person with mental retardation.

Rights

Open Access

OCLC Number

858637130

Is this full-text open access?

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