Making sense of the senseless: My autoethnographic journey through grief



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The loss of a loved one is an extremely difficult experience for anyone. Grief research points to isolation and identity shifts as being two of the main problems grievers face. Autoethnography is the method through which researchers use their own experiences to draw connections with culture. This practice is useful with grief research due to the individualistic nature of the experience. The following is my autoethnographic journey through grief. This journey has allowed me to explore grief, my identity shifts, and my feelings of isolation and of guilt. This project has utilized the theoretical constructs of symbolic interaction and autoethnography as forms of inquiry into how we come to make sense of our lives. I drew heavily upon personal journals, academic papers, and old newspaper clippings as field notes in order to construct narratives dealing with the day the Texas A&M bonfire fell, Chad Powell’s death, his funeral, and my experiences with identity negotiation, isolation and guilt over the past five years.



Bereavement, Adolescence, Grief, Autoethnography