International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

A Meaningful Death as a Function of a Meaningful Life: An Integrity Model Perspective

Nedra R. Lander, Ph.D

School of Psychology & Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Danielle Nahon, Ph.D

Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa


Life is a process and journey whose end point is death. Without our personal values, we are undefined, fearful, and stressed. This theoretical and clinically- based paper provides an Integrity model perspective of living well and dying well. The Integrity model (Lander & Nahon, 1992, 2005; Mowrer, 1953, 1964) examines the values structures within the multiple facets of our lives, and whether or not they provide a sense of a life of meaning or a profound sense of meaninglessness for individuals in despair, including those grappling with end of life issues—either through suicide or through natural causes.

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