For many years, I have kept my academic and my personal interests and processes separate. Yet, the basic desire understand healing spans my personal and professional life. Thus, Helping Friends Grieve will merge my desire to better understand how as individuals we can support the people in our lives who are dealing with loss as well as how communities heal after violence.
my journey with loss and healing
In May of 2005, I lost my father. Not only did I feel a huge hole left by the loss, but my relationships with people around me changed as I struggled through sadness, anger, jealousy, acceptance, and many other states. A year after my father died, I received an email informing me that a close friend’s father had passed away. In this moment, I realized the difficulties of supporting a friend. I had already lost my father, I knew what it felt like, and still, I had no idea what to say immediately (over the phone), what to send, what to say in person. After a few of my closest friends lost parents in the years following my father’s death, I realized we all had a lot to share and a lot to learn.
Thus “Helping Friends Grieve” began as a way to share stories from people who have lost someone and stories from friends who have supported someone in the process. I am always looking for contributors, only by sharing can we learn and heal together.
As a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, I study and work in the field of transitional justice. My primary interest is how communities move forward after conflict and violence, including, mechanisms of human rights, community development, community processes around mourning, memory, and memorialization, and the power of storytelling. I have studied justice mechanisms in the field in northern Uganda and evaluated conflict resolution programs in Rwanda. My master’s thesis: The Role of Memory in Post-Genocide Rwanda was accepted at the International Association of Genocide Scholars.
In addition to above mentioned countries, I have lived and worked in Honduras, Peru, Mexico, and Kenya. I have left pieces of my heart in each of these places and carry bits of my work, the people, and land with me as I continue to travel, love, and experience this world.