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The death of a loved one can crash into our lives like a catastrophic tsunami. Grieving means learning how to respond to the rough and relentless waves that rise up and down, directing us—if we listen—through the murky waters of bereavement. When we journey through the tragic and painful circumstances of loss, grief can alter our physical, social, psychological, behavioral, and spiritual well-being and even grow us. Although loss is a universal occurrence and models have been created to meet some of the needs of those experiencing grief, advancement in the design of innovative tools has been slow, and some well-known grief models are outdated, limiting the evolution of good practices within and outside of clinical care. We, as a society, are predominantly grief-illiterate. Indeed, a lack of grief education in schools and our unwillingness to openly talk about death and discuss its impact hinder our ability to move through grief effectively and transition into reconciliation. Thus, a revolution in the way we interact with grief is needed.


In Life: To Be Given Back Again to Whence It Came, Linita Eapen Mathew intimately explores the phenomenon of grief through her own subjective experience when faced with the devastating loss of her father. By examining current grief literature, this book defines grief and contemporary grief theories and models, detailing these elements against the force of her severe and prolonged mourning. She offers insight into a second, eastern worldview lens by narrating the impact of Indian Christian mourning traditions and reviewing the efficacy of ongoing rituals and communal grieving. Then, in search of refining a therapeutic writing tool that targets bereavement—using first-person narrative writing—she moves to investigate the therapeutic value of storytelling on her healing.


Mathew provides a thorough analysis of her autoethnographic data (41 stories) alongside a review of trauma’s effect on the brain and previous expressive writing literature. The emerging themes from her own stories are then woven with the expertise of prominent therapeutic writing researchers to create a guided unit for educators to support student bereavement in schools using the art of storytelling.




The Revelations of Eapen


The death of a loved one alters our lives and our core selves. We also experience secondary losses that pierce us—a surprising element of this can be a drastic decline in our long-term social support system. Our lack of education on death and grief represents the alarming reality of grief illiteracy in modern North American societies. Few people are therefore prepared to accompany another’s grief for the length of their bereavement. Instead, we are prone to sweep the sorrows of others out of sight, away from us, when they most need to be seen and heard in their pain. An authentic witnessing of each other’s grief has diminished.


In The Revelations of Eapen, Linita Eapen Mathew’s moving memoir, she uses evocative autoethnography to delve deeply into the human psyche through a collection of 41 stories, uncovering the cultural interactions that occurred before, during, and after her father’s death. Her narration as protagonist, hoping to reconcile with her father’s loss, discloses her struggle with chronic, complicated grief, simultaneously exposing the grief-illiterate nature of modern North American culture. Although her suffering does not recede easily, her support in Canada quickly vanishes following the conclusion of her father’s funeral. As she travels to Kerala, India, to perform the traditional Indian-Christian death rituals, she learns of the potent healing power of ritualistic ceremonies on her prolonged grief and the positive result of communal grieving on reconciliation. Throughout these Revelations, she divulges the spiritual intricacies that can coincide with death, such as sensing her father’s presence, hearing his voice, meeting him in dreams, and feeling guided by him internally. At last, she learns how to continue her bond with her father, sealing her successful transition into life after loss.


This book is a voice, a companion, and a tribute to all who have lost a loved one.

Life + The Revelations of Eapen

$69.98 Regular Price
$55.98Sale Price
  • LINITA EAPEN MATHEW, Ed.D., is an English and mental health support teacher in Calgary, Alberta. This book is the companion to her first book, Life: To Be Given Back Again to Whence It Came. Both are the result of her award-winning doctoral research investigating the effect of storytelling on bereavement.

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