The Use of the Subjunctive in Re-membering Conversations with Those who are Grieving

The subjunctive voice is often disparaged as no longer of any use in the English language. In this article the subjunctive is argued to have a special place in the construction of possibility for people who are grieving. A case study is illustrated to showcase a re-membering conversation; that is, one in which relational and community membership is considered to live on in a narrative sense after biological death. The argument is that such conversations can produce more sustenance for people in a time of grief than the usual emphasis on confronting “reality” and accepting loss.