University of Iowa Honors Theses

Major Department

English

College

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Degree

BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2017

Honors Major Advisor

Marie Kruger

Thesis Mentor

Patrick A. Dolan

Abstract

This thesis attempts to contextualize my individual experience of grief within a historical and cultural conversation about death, dying, and grieving more broadly. My father died at age 60 as the result of a failed liver transplant following years of alcoholic cirrhosis and hepatitis C. I was 16 at the time of his death, and in the room when it happened. I explore his death and mine and my family’s grief in piecemeal alongside an ongoing survey of other topics in death and grief which relate to or otherwise inform that experience.

The genre of this project is a collage of nonfiction essay and poetry. There are essays about how different groups of people deal with grief, the economics of body disposal, and the narratives we construct to make sense of mortality, among other subjects. The poetry focuses primarily on my own experience, unpacking the memories I have and how they continue to affect me to this day. The two modes of narration are meant to enlighten each other, meeting in the middle of self and other to make sense of how to lose someone you love, using my father as a test case.

Elegy has a long and storied history, and this project hopes to contribute to it by pulling apart its primary modes: pain, loss, and remembrance.

Keywords

death, grief, fathers, daughters, bereavement, five stages

Total Pages

80 pages

Copyright

Copyright © 2017 Celine Uhl

COinS
 

URL

http://ir.uiowa.edu/honors_theses/95