Within the Ivory Towers: Managing Grief in Academia

One of the central tenets of coloniality is demarking distinctions of worth. Academia unfortunately animates this ethos by being a fundamentally individualistic, competitive, and therefore, judgmental cultural context. Grief can be a complex set of emotions, unrelenting in their reminding you you’re alive. Grief should, then, always provide an opportunity to slow down, to support, to rehumanize.


I don’t really know how to start this post but I certainly feel the need to write it. Yesterday I learned that one of my best friends since the age of 13 passed away. He was one of those people who was just good. Better. And he never got a fair shot in life. He had been ill for quite some time, so while his passing is not a surprise, the sadness is the same.

It’s a similar sadness to what I felt when my grandfather passed away during my first semester of graduate school. I was not able to attend his funeral because there was a snow storm and my flight was canceled. My current state is a lightweight version of the extremely deep pain I felt (and continue to feel) when my brother passed during my fourth year of graduate school.

Friends and colleagues of mine have experienced…

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