Writing the Self and Bereavement: Dialogical Means and Markers of Moving Through Grief

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


That expressive writing can be a beneficial response to trauma or grief is well-established in the literature. Grief research also shows that the majority of people are resilient in the face of the death of loved ones. That said, traditional rituals around loss are no longer ubiquitous, well-known phase models of bereavement are contested, and ‘unfinished business’ can create difficulties in the face of loss. Increasingly, bereavement scholars speak of a need for individuals in western society to make meaning of their own grief through narrative construction, though little is said about what constitutes a beneficial story. The author takes an autoethnographic approach to write and reflect on her spouse’s illness and death and explores through a multi-voiced expressive dialogue a personal issue around her bereavement. In an analysis of her writing, using Dialogical Self Theory, she identifies markers which may be indicative of the development of a beneficially constructed narrative. The model of writing-for-transformation is used to describe the overall intent of the process, while the dialogical markers show how progress may be identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-122
Number of pages20
JournalLife Writing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan. 2020


  • Narrative
  • bereavement
  • dialogical self theory
  • unfinished business


Dive into the research topics of 'Writing the Self and Bereavement: Dialogical Means and Markers of Moving Through Grief'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this