Guilty Grief and Ecological Mourning
This chapter argues that grieving for ecological loss is complicated by feelings of guilt for that loss. Without a framework that accounts for the interweaving of guilt, grief, and mourning, we risk feelings of ecological grief remaining individualized, unresolved, and unarticulated, resulting in a form of melancholia. Analysis of the film Albatross by artist Chris Jordan reveals a constructive approach to environmental grief and, by extension, I argue, to guilt as well. In this approach, guilt and grief are framed as teachers, helping orient us toward love, care, and connection with the ecosystems that sustain life.