The Faces of Love: The Curriculum of Loss


  • Carl Leggo University of British Columbia



curriculum of loss, grief, poetic inquiry


My brother was diagnosed with cancer in early July, 2017. He died on August 22, 2017. I have written many poems about growing up with my brother, and now that he has died, I am revisiting the poems I once wrote and writing more because writing is my way of addressing grief. Writing is an integral path in the curriculum of loss, and I trust writing will lead me to the understanding I need to begin each new day with hope, even joy in the midst of loss. Joy Kogawa (2016) sees “the world as an open book embedded with stories” that we can hear “if we have ears to hear” (p. 149). When my brother died, the loss was grievous, but the loss reminded me I am alive and I must keep on telling stories. I am learning to live with the curriculum of loss. As one who is left behind, my calling is to remember my brother and to share stories about him, but my calling is also to explore connections between life and loss, and the possibilities that extend beyond loss. Ultimately the curriculum of loss is a curriculum of hope. I want to be open to learning from my brother. I am not satisfied with remembering or memorializing him. I want to continue in a pedagogic relationship with my brother so that I learn from both memories and loss, as well as from the possibilities that continue.

Author Biography

Carl Leggo, University of British Columbia

Carl Leggo is a poet and professor at the University of British Columbia. His books include: Arresting Hope: Prisons That Heal (co-edited with Ruth Martin, Mo Korchinski, and Lynn Fels); Arts-based and Contemplative Practices in Research and Teaching: Honoring Presence (co-edited with Susan Walsh and Barbara Bickel); Hearing Echoes (co-authored with Renee Norman); and Sailing in a Concrete Boat: A Teacher’s Journey.




How to Cite

Leggo, C. (2017). The Faces of Love: The Curriculum of Loss. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 15(2), 64–77.