In three episodic moments related to my father’s passing, through an autoethnographic voice I describe how grief is performed in a North Indian Punjabi household. Adding to existing autoethnographies on death and grief, I hope this essay encourages critical and empathetic consideration of how grief is observed in a distinct cultural context. Often in South Asia, grief is neither cultivated nor narrativized; instead, it has an ominous silence surrounding it. Grief is expected to be lived with but is rarely spoken or written about. There is often no script available on how to live with grief. Hence, in lieu of an absent script, I write through the grief to depict how I experienced and, in turn, coped with it. I write about grief in three sections: the intervention of the State and bureaucratic processes, family rituals and customs, and food habits. My goal in this essay is to offer an opportunity to reflect on how grief is performed, on father–daughter relationships, and on adjusting to life after death of a loved one.
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Research Article| July 01 2022
Writing with Grief: Coping with My Father’s Death
Ritika Popli is a doctoral candidate of rhetoric and culture at Ohio University where she is currently studying digital archives, public memory, and borders contextualized in the historic event of Partition of British India in 1947. She studies these emerging projects through the lens of anticolonial, postcolonial, and decolonial theory. email: email@example.com
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Journal of Autoethnography (2022) 3 (3): 341–351.
Ritika Popli; Writing with Grief: Coping with My Father’s Death. Journal of Autoethnography 1 July 2022; 3 (3): 341–351. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/joae.2022.3.3.341
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