My Journey in Grief: A Mother’s Experience Following the Death of Her Daughter

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My daughter was every parent’s dream. She excelled in everything she did. She was the most caring person I have ever known. She died suddenly in her 29th year from pneumonia, from working too hard, from not taking care of herself. This autoethnography, grounded in reflective inquiry, relates my journey in grief. Excerpts from my 858-page grief journal provided the foundation for this research study. Rather than stages of grief, what emerged were way stations in a desert with sails set to New Normal: Early Desert, Belly of the Whale, The Shadow of Death, Desert’s Edge, and New Normal. Challenging some long-held notions of the grief process and reinforcing others, this study provides insight borne of a mother’s experience, borne of the pain of loss.