communal bereavement


communal bereavement
(kuh.MYOO.nul buh.REEV.munt)
n.
When one or more people die, the widespread feeling of loss or distress among people who did not know the deceased personally.
Example Citation:
The measure of communal bereavement that Catalano and Hartig use in their research is the prevalence of very low birth weight babies — babies born small as a result of premature labor, which can be induced by psychological stress. They wanted to know, as Catalano puts it, "How far away from the individuals who died can you be and still experience the bereavement response at a biological level?" Studying the effects of two national traumas in Sweden, and controlling for other variables, they found a 21 percent increase in very low birth weight babies after the assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme, and a 15 percent increase after the ferry Estonia sank, killing hundreds of passengers.
— Margaret Talbot, "Communal Bereavement," The New York Times, December 9, 2001
Earliest Citation:
As Earl Spencer reached the denouement of his eulogy at the funeral for his sister, the late Princess of Wales, last September, a wave of applause rolled across the parks and streets around Westminster Abbey, then swept through the church itself. It was an unprecedented manifestation of communal bereavement and anger.
— "Earl Spencer and the vexed issue of privacy," The Evening Post (Wellington), December 1, 1997
Notes:
The verb bereave comes from an Old English word meaning to deprive or rob, and it means to deprive someone of a much loved person, especially through death. This is normally felt by family, friends, and other people who were close to the deceased. Communal bereavement extends this feeling to a large portion of the populace, most of whom would never even have met the deceased. The death of Princess Diana in 1997 certainly elicited this response (see the earliest citation, below), as did the 3,000 deaths resulting from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Related Words: Category:

New words. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • communal purchase — n. The purchase of a large quantity of a single item by aggregating individual buyers. Example Citation: Here s how the new world of communal purchasing works: You place an order for a Palm V, say, and give Accompany 72 hours to assemble a group… …   New words

  • Bereavement in Judaism — Part of a series on …   Wikipedia

  • Aging and Death — activationist active aging age heaping aging ear andrologist andropause beanpole family boomeritis …   New words

  • Dianabilia — n. Memorabilia devoted to Princess Diana. Example Citation: Dianabilia has dominated sales here as has no other artifact since another British import, The Beatles. On last week s Globe bestseller list, books about the late princess occupied six… …   New words

  • anniversary journalism — n. Journalism that covers the anniversaries of important events. Example Citation: It s called anniversary journalism. This distinguishes it from real journalism, which tends to be about things that are happening now, as opposed to ones that… …   New words

  • celebriphilia — (suh.leb.ruh.FEE.lee.uh) n. An abnormally intense desire to have a romantic relationship with a celebrity. Example Citation: ADVERTISERS CATCH CELEBRIPHILIA Since the demise of the supermodel, fashion advertising has become an uncomfortable… …   New words

  • commemorabilia — (kuh.MEM.uh.ruh.bee.lee.uh, bil.yuh, bil.ee.uh) n. Items created to honor or preserve the memory of a famous person or event. Example Citation: Gloucester based auctioneers, BK, are selling a remarkable collection of royal commemorabilia tomorrow …   New words

  • grief tourist — n. A person who travels to the scene of a recent tragedy to mourn the victim or victims. Example Citations: The commentator, Francis Wheen, has labelled the frenzied pilgrims that trekked to Soham the grief tourists . Grieving over two girls they …   New words

  • six down — adj. Describes a crossword puzzle fan or constructor who has passed away. Example Citation: You know, I discovered another piece of slang in the crossword puzzle. I just found myself drawn to this. six down is something I had never heard before.… …   New words

  • terror management — n. A set of personal or cultural practices or beliefs that enable an individual or a society to ignore or accept the inevitability of death. Also: terror management theory. Example Citations: The conservative psyche was recently plumbed by some… …   New words