Graduation Date

5-2015

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department or Program

Graduate Humanities

Department or Program Chair

Joshua Horowitz, Ph.D.

First Reader

Thomas Burke, Ph.D.

Second Reader

Judy Halebsky, Ph.D.

Abstract

We humans —across time, cultures, and geography— struggle with the awareness of our own mortality. Rather than accept finitude, we embrace ideas of boundlessness and perpetuity, and perceive ourselves as beings in constant motion, as travelers, in life as well as in death. We rely on metaphors of inner and outer journey to express life challenges and opportunities, and envision our deceased to be similarly en route: crossing over, passing on, ascending or descending, and, ultimately —hopefully— transcending to some higher realm. My culminating project explores the relationships between bereavement and journey, mourning and wonder. It is a collection of loosely-linked, non-fiction narratives using motifs of travel and transportation to consider the complex and creative ways in which the living interact with the dead. Managing loss and making peace with impermanence is a timeless and universal human pursuit. Story, art, memory, imagination, and metaphor are tools we can use to help traverse this unmappable terrain.

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Nonfiction Commons

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