Emma Donoghue has gained international notoriety in the wake of her novel Room (2010), where she excels at narrating existential claustrophobia and trauma from unconventional perspectives. However, what has often escaped critics is that her narrative dexterity for exploring cloistered minds and spaces has a major precedent in her novel Hood, first published in 1995 and reissued in 2010. Informed by Heideggerian hermeneutics, this chapter argues that Hood offers a phenomenological inquiry into the perplexities of death and loss as faced by a lesbian Irishwoman all too inured to emotional seclusion. The novel effectively captures a whole mental landscape of traumatic claustrophobia – from the closeted experience of mourning a same-sex lover, the failure of faith for an unrecognised partner and the defence mechanisms of self-repression to the somatic effects of a fatal trauma and the imperative of turning bereavement into a visible, shared phenomenon.