Remainders of Loss: Memorialization Beyond the Funeral

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Tuey, Catherine




For my dissertation, I conducted thirty-one semi-structured qualitative interviews with individuals who experienced the loss of a friend or loved one, and who helped to organize a funeral. The intention of my research was to give individuals a chance to share what they found meaningful and important about their experiences during this time. Doing so led me to develop the concept of remainders. The remainders represent the everyday memorialization practices that people perform after the funeral. They are the by-products of the funeral, the types of actions people tend to perform on their own post-funeral, but they are also the emotional or social ‘leftovers’ that remain after the funeral. By examining first-hand accounts of attempts to memorialize, this dissertation contributes to a sociological study of memorialization by exploring the ongoing ways that people incorporate death or loss in their lives and the meaning that they give to the practices they perform. According to the findings of this research, the contemporary practice of memorialization is a complex and messy process that extends beyond the funeral due to the emotions that come with a loss and remain well past the funeral.






Carleton University

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