Grief, Self, and Narrative

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Various claims have been made concerning the role of narrative in grief. In this paper, we emphasize the need for a discerning approach, which acknowledges that narratives of different kinds relate to grief in different ways. We focus specifically on the positive contributions that narrative can make to sustaining, restoring, and revising a sense of who one is. We argue that, although it right to suggest that narratives provide structure and coherence, they also play a complementary role in disrupting established structure and opening up new possibilities. We add that both of these roles point to the importance of interpersonal, social, and cultural factors in shaping the trajectory of grief. We conclude by briefly considering the implications for distinguishing between typical and pathological forms of grief.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-337
JournalPhilosophical Explorations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2022

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