As an autoethnography, “A Celebration of Life” takes an observer’s view of a family’s intergenerational dysfunction and breakdown in communication. As the extended family prepares to celebrate the life of the recently deceased matriarch, tensions arise between family members, resulting in one member being hospitalized for a week much again her will. Delusional thoughts convince her that her husband has placed her there so that he can take the children to the family celebration without her. As a bystander, the author witnesses the results of this short-term institutionalization from afar. The narrator’s distanced and abstracted voice is meant to show how witnessing the trauma surrounding intergenerational familial and mental struggles can be alienating. Each scene, however, provides insight into each family member’s struggles, leading the narrator to find an alternative to the family’s “Celebration of Life.”.
- intergenerational family dysfunction
- mental struggles
- observational voice
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)