Category Archives: Grief Culture

Shouldn’t Grief Have the Power to Enact Change?

As the lawn outside of the University Medical Center in Tucson becomes blanketed by photos and candles and stuffed animals commemorating the people gunned down by Jared Loughner, I turned for insight to Memorial Mania, a new book that documents the explosion in public memorialization in America and found this interesting observation: “Some temporary memorials engage social and political transformation–granting personhood to previously silenced subjects, demanding inclusion for those subjects within an expanded national imagination,” writes art historian Erika Lee Doss. “Yet other temporary memorials are frozen in emotional catharsis, fixated on exclusionary religious and political tenets and/or beholden to grief industry experts who promote them as ways to “work through” trauma. They are the material and emotional testimonials of a nation grief-stricken by violent death and yet seemingly disengaged from the social and political initiatives that might check such violence.”

New Ways To Think About Grief

A five-page adaptation from The Truth About Grief: The Myth of Its Five Stages and the New Science of Loss, has just been published in the current issue of Time Magazine.

“New Ways To Think About Grief,” Time Magazine, January 24, 2011,9171,2042372,00.html

More Mysterious Graphics of Grief

I found this on a self-help website and decided to start a collection of mysterious graphics of grief. Why is yearning before depression? Why are outbursts the low-point on the curve and not sadness?  Of course, there’s no sourcing for it, or even a designer credit. It ranks up there with the “grief wheel” in abstruseness. One of the widows I interviewed for my book was given the wheel to put up on her fridge by a well-meaning relative. But as she observed, “It’s a wheel. You go around and around on the damn thing, but how do you get off?!”