She wants her silence to be final. Here, more than anyplace else, she wants her memory uncontested. She does not want me talking to others, gathering other stories, looking into the remnants of my father's past. When she is silent, she wants those things about which she refuses to speak to remain as quiet as the tomb. That is the ultimate power of stories. They take on themselves the decision about what will be remembered and what will be told. The part of the past she claims most fiercely is the part she wants forgotten.
-Richard White, Remembering Ahanagran: Storytelling in a Family's Past (New York: Hill and Wang, 1998), p. 247-248.