Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Maria C. Dinis, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Pat Ahrens, M.S.W., LICSW

Third Advisor

Patricia Young, M.S.N., Ph.D.(c)


This hermeneutic, qualitative study was undertaken to find out what the lived experience has been for one woman who lost her partner. Hermeneutics is an interpretive approach to looking at everyday experiences and uncovering what is usually hidden from us. Theorists have developed many frameworks to apply to the bereaved person. They try to explain how the loss will affect those who suffer a loss. This study attempted to capture what this experience was like for one bereaved person, what her thoughts and feelings were while living the experience and how this experience has changed her life. The participant lost her partner 13 years ago, however, the interview revealed that the experience is never far from her daily life. The use of the hermeneutic research method allowed the researcher to engage in a process with the participant; the researcher both shapes and is shaped by the experience. Implications for social work practice are discussed in this study.


SC 11.MSW.1999.Yager.NM

Included in

Social Work Commons