A Death is Worth a Thousand Tellings: Transformation through Storytelling


Author: Janette E. McDonald

Category: Meaning Conference Proceedings

Pages: 11

JEPP Issue: Vol. 2 No. 1

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Why do we share our intimate stories with others? When are personal stories most frequently told? What are the rewards and benefits of telling our personal stories? In the context of transforming loss and grief, this paper explores these questions and the meaning they reveal during death and dying. A major objective of the paper is to provide the readers with a deepened insight and appreciation for re-telling the story of a death. In this paper I explore the phenomenon of storytelling as a narrative research methodology in the context of the dying and death processes. I also draw on the growing scholarly research on meaning as it relates to the end of life. The research section of this paper discusses two specific narrative stories that address different kinds of death: A suicide and a death of a young wife from breast cancer. A major focus of the narrative stories includes themes of meaning as described by each individual. These are discussed in detail as part of my general conclusions.