The aim of this study is to add to our understanding of the effects of the
differential mortality rate by exploring how grief is experienced within the Traveller
community in the context of bereavement from multiple deaths or sudden deaths
Method. Data from three semi-structured focus group interviews with a total of ten
Traveller Community Health Worker participants (nine female and one male) were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).
Results. Two master themes organised the salient phenomenological aspects of the
grief experience: Living with Tragic Loss and Communicating Tragic Loss. A picture
emerged of individual and community-level loss that is extensive, profound, and
enduring. The sequelae of deaths by suicide include difficulties in coping, a search for meaning, and a pervasive sense of fear. Silence, the embodied act of giving voice to tragic loss, and strategies for managing disclosure of tragic deaths with children were all strong themes which emerged from the analysis.
Conclusions. This study uses IPA to generate a vivid picture of the lived
psychological experience of grief as it is experienced by members of a minority group with above average rates of sudden and early deaths. This contributes to
understanding the burden of health inequality in an under-researched population. Findings in relation to challenges in communicating with children about tragic deaths can be integrated into bereavement support resources.