The Sister Box


  • Elaine Wilson University College Dublin


self-reflection, personal journey, grief and loss, meaning making, intersection of personal and professional


This narrative explores the intersection of my work as a professional social worker in an oncology and palliative care setting and my previous experience of the loss of my sister. Despite being committed to reflective practice, I found that I was blindsided in the course of my work when my professional and personal worlds collided. In this paper, I detail my retrospective reflection on the emotional labour associated with working in oncology and palliative care, and how I had not recognised how the thread of loss running through my life was interwoven with my professional life. The discussion draws on narrative theory and meaning making as a way of making sense of the experience of when the professional and personal worlds overlap and asks if we, as professionals, can be truly authentic with our clients if we have not engaged fully with the self-reflective process.




How to Cite

Wilson, E. (2021). The Sister Box. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 27(2), 10–19. Retrieved from



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