Skip to main content
Log in

Losing Thomas & Ella: A Father’s Story (A Research Comic)

  • Published:
Journal of Medical Humanities Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

“Losing Thomas & Ella” presents a research comic about one father’s perinatal loss of twins. The comic recounts Paul’s experience of the hospital and the babies’ deaths, and it details the complex grieving process afterward, including themes of anger, distance, relationship stress, self-blame, religious challenges, and resignation. A methodological appendix explains the process of constructing the comic and provides a rationale for the use of comics-based research for illness, death, and grief among practitioners, policy makers, and the bereaved.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Abel, J., and M. Madden. 2008. Drawing Words & Writing Pictures: Making Comics from Manga to Graphic Novels. New York, NY: First Second.

  • -----. 2012. Mastering Comics: Drawing Words & Writing Pictures Continued. New York, NY: First Second.

  • Aho, A. L., M.-T. Tarkka, P. Astedt-Kurki, and M. Kaunonen. 2006. “Father’s Grief after the Death of a Child.” Issues in Mental Health Nursing 27 (6): 647–663. doi: 10.1080/01612840600643008.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • -----. 2009. “Fathers’ Experience of Social Support after the Death of a Child.” American Journal of Men’s Health 3(2): 93–103. doi: 10.1177/155798830730294.

  • Al-Jawad, M. 2013. “Comics are Research: Graphic Narratives as a New Way of Seeing Clinical Practice.” Journal of Medical Humanities. doi: 10.1007/s10912-013-9205-0.

    Google Scholar 

  • Badenhorst, W., S. Riches, P. Turton, and P. Hughes. 2006. “The Psychological Effects of Stillbirth and Neonatal Death on Fathers: Systematic Review.” Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology 27(4): 245–256. doi: 10.1080/01674820600870327.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bruner, J. 1991. “The Narrative Construction of Reality.” Critical Inquiry 18:1–21. doi: 10.1086/448619.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cacciatore, J., J. DeFrain, K.L.C. Jones, and H. Jones. 2008. “Stillbirth and the Couple: A Gender-based Exploration.” Journal of Family Social Work 11(4): 351–372. doi: 10.1080/10522150802451667.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Charon, R. 2001. “Narrative Medicine: A Model for Empathy, Reflection, Profession, and Trust.” Journal of the American Medical Association 286:1897–1902.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Connelly, F. M., and D.J. Clandinin. 1990. “Stories of Experience and Narrative Inquiry.” Educational Researcher 19(5): 2–14.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cook, J. A. 1988. “Dad's Double Binds: Rethinking Fathers' Bereavement from a Men's Studies Perspective.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 17(3): 285–308.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Czerwiec, M. K., I. Williams, S. M. Squier, M. J. Green, K. R. Myers, and S. T. Smith. Graphic Medicine Manifesto. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.

  • Dilts, M. 2001. “The Eloquence of Pain: Poetry of Bereaved Fathers following a Perinatal Loss.” In Men Coping with Grief, edited by D. A. Lund, 349–363. Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • Eisner, W. 1990. Comics and Sequential Art, expanded edition. Parasmus, NJ: Poorhouse Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Evans, R. P. 1993. The Christmas Box. Salt Lake City, UT: Richard Paul Evans Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • Flenady, V., and T. Wilson. 2008. “Support for Mothers, Fathers and Families after Perinatal Death.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000452.pub2.

    Google Scholar 

  • Forney, E. 2012. Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me. New York, NY: Gotham Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gee, J. P. 1996. Social Linguistics and Literacies: Ideology in Discourses, 2nd edition. London, England: Falmer.

  • Gold, K. J., A. Sen, and R. A. Hayward. 2010. “Marriage and Cohabitation Outcomes after Pregnancy Loss.” Pediatrics 125(5): e1202-1207.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Green, M. J. 2013. “Missed it.” Annals of Internal Medicine 158(5): 357–361.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jones, S., and J. F. Woglom. 2013. “Graphica: Comics Arts-based Educational Research.” Harvard Educational Review 83(1): 168–189.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lincoln, Y. S., and E. G. Guba. 1985. Naturalistic Inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  • McCloud, S. 1993. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. Northampton, MA: Kitchen Sink Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • -----. 2006. Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels. New York, NY: Harper.

  • McGreal, D., B. J. Evans, and G. D. Burrows. 1997. “Gender Differences in Coping following Loss of a Child through Miscarriage or Stillbirth: A Pilot Study.” Stress Medicine 13: 159–165. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1700(199707)13:3<159::AID-SMI734>3.0.CO;2–5.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • O’Neill, B. 1998. “A Father’s Grief: Dealing with Stillbirth.” Nursing Forum 33(4): 33–37.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ollerenshaw, J. A., and J. W. Creswell. 2002. “Narrative Research: A Comparison of two Restorying Data Analysis Approaches.” Qualitative Inquiry 8(3): 329–347. doi: 10.1177/10778004008003008.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rhoades, S. 2008. Comic Books: How the Industry Works. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

    Google Scholar 

  • Saarnivaara, M., and A. P. Bochner. 2003. “Special issue--The Arts and Narrative Research: Art as Inquiry.” Qualitative Inquiry 9(4): 505–624.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sacco, J. 2005. War’s End: Profiles from Bosnia, 1995–96. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Drawn and Quarterly Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • -----. 2007. Palestine, special edition. Seattle, WA: Fantagraphic Books.

  • -----. 2012. Journalism. New York, NY: Metropolitan Books.

  • Saldaña, J., editor. 2005. Ethnodrama: An Anthology of Reality Theatre. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Small, D. 2009. Stitches: A Memoir. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sousanis, N. 2015. Unflattening. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network Writing Group. 2011. “Causes of Death among Stillbirths.” Journal of the American Medical Association 306(22): 2459–2468.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stinson, K. M., J. N. Lasker, J. Lohmann, and L.J. Toedter. 1992. “Parents’ Grief following Pregnancy Loss: A Comparison of Mothers and Fathers.” Family Relations 41: 218–223.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Streeten, N. 2011. Billy, Me & You. Brighton, England: Myriad Editions.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thompson, T. 2008. Adventures in Graphica: Using Comics and Graphic Novels to Teach Comprehension. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.

  • Vance, J. C., F. M. Boyle, J. M. Najman, and M. J. Thearle. 1995. “Gender Differences in Parental Psychological Distress following Perinatal Death or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.” British Journal of Psychiatry 167: 806–811.

  • -----. 2002. “Couple Distress after Sudden Infant or Perinatal Death: A 30-month Follow Up.” Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 38: 368–372. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1754.2002.00008.x.

  • Weaver-Hightower, M. B. 2012. “Waltzing Matilda: An Autoethnography of a Father's Stillbirth.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 41(4): 462–491.

  • Williams, I. 2011. “Autography as Auto-therapy: Psychic Pain and the Graphic Memoir.” Journal of Medical Humanities 32(4): 353–366. doi: 10.1007/s10912-011-9158-0.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zeanah, C. H., B. Danis, L. Hirshberg, and L. Dietz. 1995. “Initial Adaptation in Mothers and Fathers following Perinatal Loss.” Infant Mental Health Journal 16(2): 80–93.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Marcus B. Weaver-Hightower.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Weaver-Hightower, M.B. Losing Thomas & Ella: A Father’s Story (A Research Comic). J Med Humanit 38, 215–230 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10912-015-9359-z

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10912-015-9359-z

Keywords

Navigation