Julia Rush (1759-1848), wife of Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), recorded her
thoughts over a 33-year period in an unpublished devotional journal. Many
of the entries relate to her experience of the loss of Benjamin Rush.
Although the diary is inadequate as a source of understanding psychodynamic
processes at work, it provides considerable information about Julia Rush's
coping behavior. An analysis of this journal reveals that she used three
major coping strategies to deal with the loss of her husband: ritualized
language, time marking, and cognitive reframing. These devotional
meditations also illuminate the way early nineteenth-century religious
views shaped Julia Rush's response to loss.