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Suicide and Accidental Death for Australia’s Farming Families: How Context Influences Individual Response
journal contributionposted on 2021-08-01, 00:00 authored by Alison KennedyAlison Kennedy, M Maple, K McKay, Susan BrumbySusan Brumby
This article presents qualitative data to explore the experience of farming family members faced with accidental or suicide death and understand how this is experienced within the farming context. Individual semistructured interviews were conducted with 25 members of Australian farming families bereaved by suicide or accidental death. Qualitative data was thematically analyzed. Three interconnected themes were identified: acceptance of risk, normalization of death, pragmatic behavior patterns and connection to place. Bereavement and reconstruction of meaning following suicide or accidental death for farming families is influenced by the cultural, social, geographical, and psychological contexts of farming families. This article challenges traditional conceptions of suicide and accidental death as necessarily experienced as “violent” or “traumatic,” bereavement as experienced similarly across western cultures, and the reaction to suicide or accidental death as one that challenges people’s understanding of their world and leaves them struggling to find a reason why the death occurred.