John Graham-Pole and Dorothy Lander

Title of UFCSH talk: “End of life”: before, during, after…
Wednesday, June 8, 2011

This talk describes five years of arts-based and narrative research, teaching and practice, during which John Graham-Pole and Dorothy Lander have explored experiences of loss and transition for “leavers and left.” Illustrated with video clips and stories.

  • Life and death are a continuum: we’re all living and we’re all dying
  • Though most of us won’t die alone, death is a “solo flight”
  • We  are “left” many times before we finally “leave”; and we experience many “metaphors of loss and transition” before our final loss
  • Despite medical science’s advance, the death rate is still one per person, and death is still more mystery than mastery
  • Death is an ideal subject for qualitative and arts-based research
  • Art as inquiry engages us in existential meaning-making and contemplative practice through creative self-expression