The First Year of Bereavement reports results of the Harvard Bereavement Study, which was conducted under the auspices of the Harvard Laboratory of Community Psychiatry. Studies of people who have recently experienced funerals are rare because it is hard to find the people. In addition to its prestigious pedigree, this project had access to data from the local office of vital statistics, and thus the researchers found good number of participants who fit the demographic requirements of the study.1
Subjects: 49 widows and 19 widowers, whose spouses had died within the past year from causes other than suicide or homicide. All under age 45. Several interviews were conducted the first year after death, and a follow-up interview 2-4 years later. Boston.
Topics covered in this project go well beyond funeral experiences but it is extremely valuable for its extensive focus on the latter—which even now, more than half a century later, has only been done a few times. As such, this Harvard study is an important snapshot of one aspect of funerals in the 1960s.