Writing the Self in Bereavement

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A Story of Love, Spousal Loss and Resilience

by Reinekke Lengelle

book cover

In Writing the Self in Bereavement: A Story of Love, Spousal Loss and Resilience, Reinekke Lengelle uses her abilities as a researcher, poet, and professor of therapeutic writing to tell a heartfelt and fearless story about her grief after the death of her spouse and the year and a half following his diagnosis, illness, and passing.

This book powerfully demonstrates that writing can be a companion in bereavement. It uses and explains the latest research on coming to terms with spousal loss without being prescriptive. Integrated with this contemporary research are stories, poetry, and reflections on writing as a therapeutic process. The author unflinchingly explores a number of themes that are underrepresented in existing resources: how one deals with anger associated with loss, what a healthy response might be to unfinished business with the deceased, continuing conversations with the beloved (even for agnostics and atheists), ongoing sexual desire, and secondary losses.

As a rare book where an author successfully combines a personal story, heart-rending poetry, up-to-date research on grief, and an evocative exploration of taboo topics in the context of widowhood, Writing the Self in Bereavement is uniquely valuable for those grieving a spouse or other loved one, those supporting others in bereavement, and those interested in the healing power of poetry and life writing. Researchers on death and dying, grief counsellors, and autoethnographers will also benefit from reading this resonant resource on love and loss.

Writing the Self in Bereavement has won the H. L. "Bud" Goodall, Jr. and Nicholas Lee Trujillo "It's A Way of Life" Award in Narrative Ethnography - 2021. This award is based on a work that “exemplifies excellence in storytelling informed by scholarship and intended for both scholarly and public audiences”.

Publisher: Routledge

About the Author

Reinekke Lengelle teaches in the Master of Arts - Integrated Studies program. View Reinekke's faculty page.