Grief theories have converged on the idea that the sharing of autobiographical memory narratives of loss and of the deceased person, especially within the family, is a major way to maintain and/or reconfigure a healthy sense of identity after a loss. In contrast, we examine unspoken memory-the withholding of socially sharing autobiographical memories about the loss and the departed family member-as a way to either conserve an existing narrative identity or assert a new narrative identity. Depending on its context and function, silence about memory can play either a positive or negative role in an individual griever's ongoing narrative identity, as well as in the larger family narrative in which the griever's identity is embedded.
Baddeley, Jenna, and Jefferson Singer. 2010. "A Loss in the Family: Silence, Memory, and Narrative Identity After Bereavement." Memory (February): 198-207. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19697249