Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in English
creative nonfiction, memoir, widow, grief, bereavement, mourning, spousal loss
English Language and Literature
THESE WERE REAL PEOPLE is a collection of creative nonfiction essays that comprise a grief memoir centering around the death of my husband, Nathan, from Acute Myeloid Leukemia at age twenty-five. Through reflections on grandparents, stickers, tattoos, sledding, and a McDonald's restaurant, among other things, the essays guide the reader along my experience as a "baby widow.” In the tradition of grief memoirs, the pieces also focus honestly on my attempts (both successful and unsuccessful) to regain my bearings in a new, strange world and recover my sense of self with the help of an incredible "grief community.” My main endeavor was to highlight the many ways in which the griever is both alone and accompanied in her grief and, above all, to remember that those who have passed from this life are still very much "real” people.
© Renee L. Dunn
Dunn, Renee L., "These Were Real People" (2014). MSU Graduate Theses. 1134.