Drawing on qualitative interviews with family members bereaved by a drug-related death, this paper examines the relationship between the stigma these deaths attract and creative expressions of grief. The stigma reflects how drug users’ ‘spoiled identities’ may be transferred to bereaved families who are deemed in some way complicit (Guy, 2004). Interviewees conveyed how feeling stigmatised engendered profound guilt and shame. Yet, they also recounted creative expressions of grief through which they challenged negative stereotypes to recover and affirm both the deceased’s and their own identities (Fearon 1999), integrity and continuing bond.
|Grief Matters: The Australian Journal of Grief and Bereavement
|Acceptance date - 20 Jul 2018
- Drug-related deaths, stigma, disenfranchised grief, creative responses