Stitching hope through loss in celebration
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This chapter focuses on the revisiting and re-storying of hopeful actions and practices in the face of emotional hurt, physical pain, sorrow, loss and shattered dreams. Painstakingly slow recovery from major surgery coincided with the shocking and immeasurable loss of a beloved mother. This chapter grew out of conversations reminiscing about a graduation ceremony in the year following the loss. Memories, of a gold dress, carefully stitched together the concern, love, attention, compassion, and admiration of a mother and her support for her daughter’s hope of an academic future. These memories later became the focus of an outsider witnessing practice and re-membering conversations as a means by which to re-visit, re-story and re-member the celebration of the graduation ceremony. Eleven years after the loss and as an aspiring academic, the small, but significant steps of speaking through the hurt of injustice, the immense loss of not only a mother, but central person in the life of a young woman living with disability, opened up the space to discuss the discursive and material practices of Ashlie’s lived experiences.
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