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Lake, D.A. (1987). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXVIII, 1983: On the Process of Mourning. Jeanne Lampl-de Groot. Pp. 9-13.. Psychoanal Q., 56:409.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXVIII, 1983: On the Process of Mourning. Jeanne Lampl-de Groot. Pp. 9-13.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:409

Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXVIII, 1983: On the Process of Mourning. Jeanne Lampl-de Groot. Pp. 9-13.

David A. Lake

In honoring the late Marianne Kris, Lampl-de Groot reconsiders the concept of mourning and advocates restricting it to the gradual process of coping with the pain caused by the death of a loved one and finally reinvesting another object with libido. The cognitive notion of future is necessary for mourning. For the young infant, who cannot understand the finality of death, such loss is indistinct from experiences of loss during the mother's temporary absence or from the sense of loss created by her incomprehensible affective changes (prior to establishment of libidinal object constancy). Two factors are crucial to the outcome of mourning: the mastery of guilt based on both unconscious infantile death wishes and feelings of triumph, and a capacity to sublimate destructive impulses. Age-specific life crises (such as the departure of grown children from home, retirement from work, and the physical effects of old age) may reintensify neurotic conflict and depressive affect, but these processes should be distinguished from mourning. In old age, just as opportunities for finding new love objects are declining, mourning often involves the loss of many beloved persons, and parts of the self, including memory; certain psychological functions and the image of a vigorous, reliable body may be irretrievably lost as well. The author suggests that in their place older people recathect memories of past satisfying relationships. She is thankful for her own memory of Marianne Kris.

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Article Citation

Lake, D.A. (1987). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXVIII, 1983. Psychoanal. Q., 56:409

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