ritchie-spaceandloss-2006.pdf (411.86 kB)
Space and loss: spirituality and symbolic connectedness in contemporary culture
journal contributionposted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by David Ritchie
This paper examines the significance of space in the experience, stories and memories of loss and grief. While for many religions the earth is an important element in rituals around birth, death and burial, in increasingly secular and multi-cultural societies, church and public cemeteries are no longer the dominant sacred sites, nor is religion the only way of defining ‘spirituality’. The paper describes shifts in religious and secular practices in dealing with loss and grief, presents case studies of traditional and contemporary frameworks in which ritual, storytelling and space are important elements of meaning making processes, and invites further examination of the ways in which artmaking restores a sense of control and meaning after the experience of loss.