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Division of Social Work

Grief and Bereavement

Grief is one of those things that evolves over time, but it revisits you and you continue to have a bond with the person that died.

Dr. Diane Kempson

Diane KempsonDr. Diane Kempson has a longstanding interest in the area of grief and bereavement.  Her original dissertation research investigated alternative interventions with bereaved mothers in an effort to mitigate the profound impact of a child's death.  She also conducted cutting edge research on the role of caregiver massage with chronically ill and dying loved ones to better understand the reciprocal nature of touch. 

Kempson's more recent research focus has included exploratory studies of unacknowledged loss and memory-keeping of siblings never known - through death of a neonate sibling or through adoption of an unknown infant sibling out of the family. Her plans for future research include examining the trajectory of the grieving process for bereaved mothers and delving into the complexities of meaning-making, continuing bonds, and mattering.

Kempson's research continues to challenge the common notion that grief is something that someone should "get over" and if they don't within some undefined period of time, there is something wrong with them.  "We take something that is natural - people's reaction to the loss of something - and we've turned it into a pathology and have decided there is something inherently wrong with the person as opposed to being seen as something that is reflective of a particular culture."

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Division of Social Work

College of Health Sciences

University of Wyoming

Dept. 3632

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071-2000

Phone: (307) 766-6112


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