Taking a narrative approach to grief research: finding meaning in stories

Death Stud. 2002 Apr;26(3):223-39. doi: 10.1080/07481180211274.


This article explores the concepts of narrative as story, of storytelling, and of the narrative approach to qualitative research. Within this, I will also examine the social nature of narrative and the implications of this for research. I will look at the process of conducting a narrative study and the implications for participation in such a project and for the researcher investigating a phenomenon through this frame. In particular, the need to create stories to make order of disorder and find meaning in the meaningless is particularly relevant to the study of grief. In looking at the process of conducting a narrative study, questions about what can be analyzed and how it might be presented, some strengths and limitations of the narrative approach, and ethical questions also are considered.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Communication*
  • Death
  • Ethics
  • Grief*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Research Design*