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Teaching Death and Dying$
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Christopher M Moreman

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195335224

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335224.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 December 2019

 Love Letters to the Dead: Immortal Gifts for the Lifelong Learner

 Love Letters to the Dead: Immortal Gifts for the Lifelong Learner

Chapter:
(p.227) 14 Love Letters to the Dead: Immortal Gifts for the Lifelong Learner
Source:
Teaching Death and Dying
Author(s):

Dorothy Lander

John Graham‐Pole

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335224.003.0019

This chapter explores the “reflective practice” of letter-writing to the deceased. It reviews the literature of this unique form of epistolary communication, as a prelude to writing letters to the chapter's authors' beloved dead. In subsequent dialogue, the chapter reviews the potential of this autoethnographic and holistic methodology for death education, as well as for research and care work, in both formal and informal palliative care settings. It is argued that death and mourning are hard to teach through didactics and need to be interwoven with arts-based personal story, self-expression, and dialogue. The chapter proposes that such direct, non-mediated, communications can offer a vital, although largely unexplored, form of lifelong pedagogy as well as serving as a source of direct healing for bereaved people, whether personal or professional caregivers.

Keywords:   reflective pedagogy, letter writing, continuing bonds, lifelong learning, dialogue

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