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Grief, Self, and Narrative

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JournalPhilosophical Explorations
DateAccepted/In press - 7 Apr 2022
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 11 May 2022
Number of pages19
Early online date11/05/22
Original languageEnglish


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.

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© 2022 The Author(s)


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