Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2015

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


English, Linguistics, and Communication

First Advisor

Rafferty, Colin

Second Advisor

Rigsby, Mary

Major or Concentration

English (Creative Writing Concentration)


As the culmination of my nonfiction seminar (ENGL 470C) with Professor Colin Rafferty, I chose to explore three disparate, but interwoven, narratives: the death of and delayed grief over my high school mentor; my struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; and, the 2011 wildfire that destroyed much of the Great Dismal Swamp. Through a use of segmentation, lyric language, and a manipulation of tense, I explore the tensions underlying these narratives, namely the idea of futility of preparation and the insistence on destructive cycles which sustain themselves. Ultimately, the essay serves on a rumination not on mortality, but on our cultural perception of it as something to be dealt with in the aftermath and the difficulty that subsequently arises from when that perception is flipped and, instead, an end is something to be eternally anticipated and negotiated within that anticipation.