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    Etiquette in the context of death and dying: communication and conversation

    Dayes, Jennifer ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6357-3987, Keenan, Joseph ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8855-1776, Sadza, Michal and Croucher, Karina (2023) Etiquette in the context of death and dying: communication and conversation. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying. ISSN 0030-2228

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    Abstract

    Death, bereavement, and grief are experiences suffused with conflict and disenfranchisement. Intricately connected is ‘etiquette’ – the sense of ‘should’ ‘must’ ‘right’ ‘wrong’ ‘appropriate’ and ‘inappropriate’ individuals feel in death and bereavement situations. This paper is the first of two answering the question, ‘where does etiquette arise in death and bereavement situations and what does this ‘look like?’’ The theme The etiquette of communication and conversation is described, highlighting the importance of early communication for resolving conflict, what is considered ‘appropriate’ communication and support, and the social values underpinning these. Data highlighted how the CBT concept of ‘shoulding and musting’ manifests in death and bereavement situations, gave insight into etiquette’s role in disenfranchising grief through shaping conversations, and offered suggestions for bereavement support. Though the term ‘etiquette’ may be misleading out of context, the concept resonated with the bereaved community and provided language to discuss the nuances of their experiences.

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