VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
The Cuban-American Grieving Process
Judith Bachay and Rafael Montes
Understanding of the universal experience of death and loss is complicated by the complexity of culture, a construct that includes all of the habits acquired by humans as members of a society. By adding to this coalescence multiple cultural sanctions concerning death and accompanying expressions of grief, the understanding of others and ourselves seems virtually impossible. Yet such understanding is vital to the construction of a space where culture intersects with daily lived experience and where grief and loss are responded to in a way that promotes human connection and honors cardinal cultural values. Furthermore, the impact of culture, especially 142 in relation to grief, merits further investigation insofar as multiple political, historical, socioeconomic, and generational perspectives serve to undermine potentially monolithic analyses of the phases within the grief process. This study focuses on the prevalent generational differences that tend to arise during a Cuban American mother’s and daughter’s negotiation of loss by examining the role of tradition, ritual, and tolerance. Ideally, through this analysis, counselors may better benefit underassisted populations, who are perhaps resistant to grief counseling, by maintaining a level of sensitivity towards sometimes overlooked extenuating cultural and/ or political circumstances.