This narrative is a work of disconnect and connect during the morning of September 20, 2018. Around 10:04 a.m. my sister, Abby, told me that my mother had died that morning and was found by our brother, Andy. My narrative chronicles that morning from 10:04 a.m. through 10:35 a.m., and then summarizes most of the rest of the day. I ground this autoethnography in relational ethics, detailing how I grapple with writing about Dolly, my mother, my siblings, and others. I also detail how Dolly’s death affects my narrative inheritance. Using emotional recall, I use the terms “disconnect” and “connect” to demonstrate the modality of telling the news and how I slowly disconnected from reality, through the use of cellphones, trance-like states, changing scenery, and television watching, so that I could connect to the news and to others. I conclude with offering a mother-daughter canon.
Disconnect-Connect: 31 minutes of September 20, 2018
Sarah Symonds LeBlanc is an assistant professor of communication at Purdue University–Fort Wayne (PFW) who specializes in family and health communication, in particular identity negotiation. Her research examines media’s portrayal of PTSD and post-partum depression, new moms’ perception of stigma communication, and how new moms negotiate their identity. She has published in Health Communication, Journal of Loss and Trauma, The Popular Culture Studies Journal, and Death Studies. Email: email@example.com
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Sarah Symonds LeBlanc; Disconnect-Connect: 31 minutes of September 20, 2018. Journal of Autoethnography 27 July 2020; 1 (3): 274–283. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/joae.2020.1.3.274
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