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Death Stud. 2006 Dec;30(10):957-69.

Personal reflections of funeral rituals and spirituality in a Kentucky African American family.

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Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA.


This article introduces the authors' experiences and observations as grief/bereavement counselors participating in urban and rural funerals. A vignette illustrates the use of rituals and spirituality of one African American family, living in a rural area of Kentucky, and their efforts to cope with their own grief and loss of a loved one. The article describes why it is important for professional practitioners to have awareness about a range of diverse funeral events and traditions that can take place in the African American community. Funeral practices and customs are discussed as well as suggestions for culturally competent practice in working with those who have experienced loss and grief.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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