Bereaved parents of fallen soldiers have been through the same experience, but
they react and cope differently depending on their “belief in themselves and
faith in others,” according to new research from the University of
Prof. Shimshon Rubin, Prof. Binyamin Beit-Halahmi and Dr.
Itai Adras of of the psychology department said they found that 30 percent of
parents of fallen soldiers suffered problems in their marriage due to their
Rubin noted that losing a child is one of the most traumatic
events a parent can suffer.
The team looked at the personalities and
characteristics of 126 bereaved parents and an additional 62 parents who had not
lost their children in military service, the latter serving as a control
They found that the parents’ “style of communication” has a
significant influence on how they cope with their loss. Parents who have
difficulty trusting themselves and others find it much more difficult to deal
with mourning and loss, while those who are more open showed that their
functioning was similar to those who have not lost children.
also a major factor, they found. Women have more difficulty coping than their
male partners. The team found that those bereaved couples who were most
satisfied with their marital relationships coped better with their
Rubin added that their research pointed to a “certain paradox,” as
people who are more open to support and help after losing their children have
stronger communication with others and thus already have emotional
Those who most need emotional support have the most difficulty
communicating with others so they cannot get it, Rubin
Bereavement is so difficult, he said. “The question is how to
make the transition to the new reality without their loved one... The challenge
is to society and professionals, and to the bereaved themselves, in finding ways
to relieve their difficulties in coping with the reality and the changes in
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