Opening to the hauntings of grief and mourning: writing our way towards hope

Linda Henderson, Alison L. Black

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


We are two women, academics, friends. Grief opened the pathways for our coming together and has manifested in our lives and our work in many forms. We have become kindred souls seeking something more than the darkness of grief—and yet, we have come to understand that sorrow is the entrance to healing and a pathway to hope. Together, we are writing with, and through, the darkness, the haunting, the turmoil, and the loss—the loss we feel within our bodies, our academic work, within society and the natural world, the loss of loved ones, and the loss of hope. Our writing is not easy. It aggravates the wounding, opens afresh life’s scar tissue and drops us into our almost unbearable sorrows. But with our writing together we are activating connection of shared and individual pain. Our narratives move us tenderly and alchemically towards a deeper intimacy with ourselves, each other, and the earth. We are recognising that the hope we seek is desperately needed not only by us, but by many in our educational, social and personal communities. And so, with this chapter we choose to make visible and public our intimate navigation of personal, environmental and institutional grief, our ‘methodology of the heart’ (Pelias, 2010), believing that ‘grief is but a gate’ to (re)storying and restoration (Abram, 2010).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHumanizing Grief in Higher Education
Subtitle of host publicationNarratives of Allyship and Hope
EditorsNicole Sieben, Stephanie Anne Shelton
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780429326493
ISBN (Print)9780367345488, 9780367750794
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Higher Education

Cite this