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April 1: Thanatology expert Robert Niemeyer lecture

FREDERICK, Md.—A leading expert on death and dying will discuss how to make meaning out of loss in a lecture at Hood College April 1.

Robert Neimeyer, Ph.D., will present his talk, entitled “Loss, Grief and the Quest for Meaning,” at 7 p.m. in Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall as this year’s Dana Cable Memorial Lecture Series Speaker. He will consider evidence that people can move from grief to growth and reaffirm a life of meaning that has been challenged and changed by bereavement.

Neimeyer is a professor of psychology at the University of Memphis, where he also maintains an active clinical practice. He serves as editor of the journal “Death Studies,” and he has authored more than 500 articles and book chapters.

According to Neimeyer, while bereavement and loss are universal, the ways in which people accommodate these transitions are varied and can range from adaptive to complicated, prolonged and even life threatening. Drawing on contemporary understandings of grieving as a meaning-making process, he will consider what this implies for individuals and families negotiating loss as they strive to manage the emotional challenges of mourning and reconstruct continuing bonds with loved ones who are physically absent but psychologically present.

In his lecture, Neimeyer will identify two challenges involved in making meaning of loss; define the two domains of adaptation traced by the two-track model of bereavement, as developed by Simon Shimshon Rubin, director of the International Center for the Study of Loss, Bereavement and Human Resilience in Israel; describe the concept of “coincidancing”—the way in which “coincidences” occurring around a death are attributed meaning; and list three domains of post-traumatic growth commonly observed in the bereaved.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information on Neimeyer, visit For more information on the lecture, contact Kerri Eyler at 301-696-3763 or