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A Loss in the Family: Silence, Memory, and Narrative Identity After Bereavement


A Loss in the Family: Silence, Memory, and Narrative Identity After Bereavement

Abstract: 

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.

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Full Citation: 

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

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