Mother who lost daughter writes about resilience & the ‘slow awakening’ of hope

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In 2015, Images & Voices of Hope spent a lot of time exploring Restorative Narratives‘ role in news stories. As we look ahead to 2016, we’re interested in learning more about how this genre can play out in various types of media and story forms.

Along these lines, we were recently drawn to a personal essay, “Dear Kate,” which embodies many of the key tenets of Restorative Narrative. The essay — which was recently published in Indianapolis Monthly — details how Nancy Comiskey has coped with the loss of her daughter Kate, who died in a car crash in 2004.

Comiskey writes that in the first year after Kate’s death, she didn’t have any “brilliant insights on healing and hope.” In the decade since, she has learned to grieve and has reflected on what it takes to cope in the aftermath of a devastating loss.

Comiskey doesn’t gloss over difficult truths in her essay; she acknowledges them and explains how difficult her journey has been. Similarly, Restorative Narratives don’t wrap up everything with a pretty bow. They often dig deep into a tragedy but they don’t get stuck there; instead, they show how the people and communities who were affected are finding meaningful pathways forward.

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Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Poynter.org. Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at mjtenore@gmail.com.

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