Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Professional Writing (MAPW)



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Anne Richards


Margaret Walters


No one is spared grief. Yet while it is universal in nature, it is painfully specific in experience. Many people describe grief in terms of water, and often refer to it as coming in waves, while others have drifted so far from the proverbial shore that they are drowning in it. Doorway to the Deep explores this concept through personal reflections and private diary and journal entries.

The story commences on December 17, 1993 with my first diary entry when I was eleven years old. After enduring many years of endometriosis, the story climaxes on May 12, 2014 with my fourth and final surgery at the age of thirty-one. In the aftermath of a complete hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo oophorectomy, the story continues. In their entirety, these entries encapsulate my spiritual, emotional, physical, and medical journey.

Doorway to the Deep also offers a psychological perspective commensurate with my academic and professional background as a licensed mental health therapist. Therefore, the content will alternate between personal memoir and professional opinion on topics such as grief, chronic pain, pain management, making helpful meaning of loss, forming healthy relationships, the interplay of spirituality and health, and women’s psychological issues that can attend infertility and childlessness.