As part of her Master's degree at Radboud University, Judith Peters researched how the loss of a loved one influences the life of survivors and the experiences whereby the deceased live on through symbols or stories. Judith hopes to conduct further research on the power of these stories. "I want to explore whether it helps people in mourning accept the loss and, if so, how."
Judith Peters is researching symbolic immortality, which helps people deal with the fear and sadness following the death of a loved one by sharing stories about how they lived or by seeing experiences as promises of a literal or figurative life after death. Judith's research so far suggests that stories like this can give people hope as they grieve.
(Foto: Bert Beelen)
Judith experienced this herself. "A few years ago, as I stood at my father's grave, I was warmed by a ray of sunshine. My father was a warm and optimistic man and that ray of sunshine reminded me of him and reassured me that he wasn't gone completely."
Help Judith with her research!
By a donation off the Radboud Fund, Judith can set up her research study and collect stories. The proceeds from this crowdfunding campaign will help her continue her research. With €30.000, she can spend an extra two days a week on her research over the course of eighteen months, which will give her more time to analyse, describe and publish her results. All donations, big or small, are welcome!
Judith is also looking for stories. Does Judith's own story sound familiar to you, or did you have a similar experience? If so, you can help by sharing your story on the website Verhalen van verlies ('stories of loss'), which offers several guiding questions to help you get started. You get to decide whether to share your story with the public or if you'd prefer it to be used for research purposes only.
Thank you very much for your contribution!
Judith first met Marco Borsato when her father was ill. He helped her find test subjects for her Master's thesis and became an ambassador for her research and this crowdfunding campaign. All donors (those who choose to share a story or donate money) have a chance to win:
- A meet-and-greet with Marco Borsato, including a soundcheck and a performance. Five donors will be chosen at random and each can bring a guest with them.
- A portrait by Marco Borsato: he will take a series of photographs (you can take a guest), which you will receive digitally. You can choose one photo from this series to be framed. Five donors will be chosen at random.
Uitvaart Museum Tot Zover in Amsterdam supports this campaign by offering several free admission tickets, those who donate € 25 or more will receive two tickets, and facilitating a lecture by Judith. More information about the funeral museum can be found on the museum's website.
Arjen de Wit writes short, custom-made stories on an old typewriter. Those who donate €500 or more will have a chance to win a unique, personal story based on a word, a title, or other information. Five donors will be chosen at random. Read more about Arjen and his stories on his website.
Judith Peters (14 May 1991) studied Pedagogy at HAN University of Applied Sciences from 2011 to 2015. In 2017 she was awarded her Master’s degree (cum laude) in Communication & Influence by Radboud University. On 3 September 2018, she will receive the University Study Prize (Faculty of Arts) for her thesis entitled titled 'Existentiële verhalen: de kracht van (symbolische) onsterfelijkheid bij verlies bekeken vanuit de terror management theorie'.