The Management of Grief Essay

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I recently read a short story entitled The Management of Grief written by Bharati Mukherjee. It tells the story of some people whose family members died in a plane explosion and how they dealt with their grief. Shaila Bhave, the narrator, is an Indian woman living in Canada. She lost her husband and her two teenaged sons in the plane explosion. Although grief-stricken, Shaila manages to stay calm amidst the commotion; hence, she becomes part of the rebuilding of some people’s lives. If the story’s title sounds like a how-to guide on grief management, it indeed gives the readers some practical steps on how to deal with the loss and how to start all over again. Here are those tips: (1) Remarry; (2) Look for another job; (3) Sell your house and move to another place; (4) Join a group where you can pursue your interest like traveling or ballroom dancing; and (5) Seek refuge from a fellow brokenhearted. As pointed out in the story by Judith Templeton, the representative from the provincial government, people in grief go through several stages: rejection, depression, acceptance and reconstruction. The characters react to the situation in different ways. Some are in denial while others are hoping for the impossible to happen. Even Kusum, Shaila’s friend who sounds like she is one level-headed person, suddenly withdraws from the world and from her very own daughter. It might be one happy-ending story for Shaila, who at first is helpful to Templeton, but later decides to deal with her own family’s affairs first before meddling with other people’s lives. In the last paragraphs, we are told that she lives in between the Ontario Houses of Parliament and the University of Ontario. At this point, Shaila is financially secure but she has no career. She previously could not do anything for herself while her family members were still alive because she was busy

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