Biography, bereavement, story

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This paper addresses the debate around Walter's (1996) biographical model of grief. It discusses McLaren's (1998) criticisms of Walter and argues, contrary to McLaren, that bereavement counselling is unavoidably directive, that very important sections of it still emphasize emotion work and that it effects a separation of emotions, relationships and stories. The paper goes on to suggest that Walter's notion of biography needs to be expanded to emphasize how the discourses of the bereaved speak of the bereaved as much as the deceased, and how these are creative achievements of 'emplottment' and characterization that shape and reflect the emotions of the bereaved and their relationship with the deceased. It suggests that we talk of the stories of the bereaved rather than a biography of the deceased.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-204
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2000


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