Longing for Concreteness: How Body Memory Matters to Continuing Bonds

Allan Køster

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

2 Citationer (Scopus)


This paper explores the relevance of body memory to Continuing Bonds. Specifically, I argue that an adequately sedimented felt sense of the deceased in inter-corporeal body memory is a condition of possibility for maintaining a continued bond. This felt sense of the deceased, which amounts to a complex embodied sensorium, does not exist in isolation, but is vitally dependent on being maintained through continued enactments, social scaffolding and material affordances. Lacking such a felt sense of a deceased person integral to one’s life—either due to inadequate sedimentations or lack of maintenance—does not imply an absence of grief and longing. Rather, it may involve its own kind of profound existential suffering which I shall propose we conceptualise as a longing for concreteness. I argue these points using contrasting single-case studies of persons having suffered early parental bereavement. The cases were obtained through in-depth interviews structured by insights from phenomenological philosophy.
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 25 jun. 2019