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ERIC Number: EJ879560
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0882-4843
Losing Jay: A Meditation on Teaching while Grieving
Parker, Blaise Astra
Feminist Teacher: A Journal of the Practices, Theories, and Scholarship of Feminist Teaching, v20 n1 p71-80 2009
The author's partner Jay died on May 23, 2006. It was sudden and unexpected--he was 31, the author was 30. Her grief was prolonged and agonizing, and she has since learned that doctors refer to her condition as "complicated grief." Truly, she is not sure how she survived the first year after Jay's death. She certainly was not convinced she wanted to do so. But she did. She has. This essay marks the author's first attempt to reflect on the process of grieving and particularly on teaching through grief. In the process, she wants to argue that teaching while grieving became a radical lesson in feminist pedagogy for her, particularly around such issues as embodiment, authority, discomfort, and love. In many respects, she came to the moment of grieving with an already clearly defined feminist pedagogy. However, in mourning the loss of her partner, in continuing to teach students while moving through that grief, and in now reflecting upon the experience of her first two semesters of teaching after Jay's death, she has learned a great deal about herself and her teaching. She does not know whether she can offer a succinct conclusion about this, but she wants to use her experience to raise questions and offer suggestions for other educators to consider. Although she cannot claim to be grateful for her experience of such raw grief, she hopes that she can at least say something meaningful, perhaps even useful, about it.
University of Illinois Press. 1325 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6903. Tel: 217-244-0626; Fax: 217-244-8082; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A