Call for Papers: Death and grief in the aftermath of COVID-19 (Thanatos 1/2022 Special Issue)

Guest editors: Panagiotis Pentaris1 and Ilona Kemppainen2

Associate Professor, School of Human Sciences, Faculty of Education, Health and Humans Sciences, University of Greenwich, UK

2Independent Scholar, Docent in History, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

COVID-19 and its associated restriction measures have brought an avalanche change to the world; one that has certainly impacted not only on the way we do things during the pandemic, but also on how life will evolve in the future. The pandemic has (re)surfaced significant areas of social life that require attention; specifically, those that highlight social injustice and inequalities. Simultaneously, it has created the circumstances wherein new inequalities have emerged (Pentaris & Woodthorpe, 2021; Ali et al., 2020). Research in death studies and palliative and hospice care is increasingly providing more evidence about how the pandemic has changed the way we die, grieve, and how we think about either (Pentaris, 2021). The use of technology has transformed, and new technologies have been introduced, which progress the options people have when a loved one dies, or when they experience a non-death loss.

This special issue focuses on evidence, indicators, and reflections about the way forward; literature is abundantly highlighting the impact on COVID-19 on death and bereavement, but little focus is given to how things might evolve in the future – e.g., how will technology continue to facilitate online funerals.

We are looking for original empirical manuscripts that use qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-method approaches. Theoretical manuscripts and reviews of the literature will also be considered. Potential topics relevant to death, dying, grief and COVID-19 include, but are not limited to:

  • bereavement experiences during COVID-19 and ways forward
  • coping with bereavement during a pandemic and lessons learned
  • disenfranchised dying
  • dying, grieving and social injustices
  • social, cultural, and religious variations of digitalized dying and grieving
  • understanding, responding to, and expressing grief during and after the pandemic
  • novel methods of assessment and interventions for future practice
  • implementation of existing grief therapy, counseling, and other practices
  • currency of grief and bereavement theories in the aftermath of the pandemic
  • currency of end-of-life care practices in the aftermath of the pandemic
  • technology and transhumanist perspectives in the future of death

Submission process

Authors are invited to submit an abstract of their proposed manuscript by email to the guest editors of the special issue. Abstracts should be approximately 300 words and include a working title and three to five keywords, along with the authors’ names and affiliations.

All authors will be notified of the outcome of their abstract proposal. The authors of successful abstracts will then be invited to submit the completed manuscripts for blind peer review. All submitted manuscripts should comply with the journal’s instructions for authors. Based on the reviewers’ feedback, authors will submit the final version of their manuscripts. The submission and feedback timelines are below.

Please send your abstract submissions or inquiries to the guest editors:

Dr Panagiotis Pentaris at

Dr Ilona Kemppainen at

Submission and feedback timeline

Abstract proposals due: November 10, 2021

Abstract outcome notification: November 30, 2021

Completed draft manuscripts due: March 31, 2022

Publication of special issue: June 2022


Ali, S., Asaria, M., & Stranges, S. (2020). COVID-19 and inequality: are we all in this together?. Canadian journal of public health111(3), 415-416.

Pentaris, P., & Woodthorpe, K. (2021). Familiarity with death. In Death, Grief and Loss in the Context of COVID-19 (pp. 17-28). Routledge.

Pentaris, P. (Ed.). (2021). Death, Grief and Loss in the Context of COVID-19. Routledge.