Reconstructing the Language Of Death And Grief

Cover of the journal Illness, Crisis & Loss

From Illness, Crisis & Loss Volume 10. No.4, Oct. 2002]

While death is a biological event, the ways in which we make sense of it are shaped by the social discourses of the worlds in which we live. A narrative and social constructionist therapeutic approach opens new practices of conversation with those who are dying or bereaved. These practices emphasize the ongoing story of relationship. Stories are encouraged to bring forth and develop positive connections following death to support a position of agency, hopefulness and legacy. From this perspective, grief too becomes an evolving and creative opportunity for story development rather than an unpleasant task to be worked through as quickly as possible.