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June 23, 1985, is a day that will stay with the hearts of Indians all around the world. A plane that was on its way to London from Montreal was bombed, and every passenger lost their life that day. Many believe that Sikh extremists were the cause, and one was convicted in 2003. (www.britannica.com)

Bharati Mukherjee’s “The Management of  Grief” is about a woman, Shaila Bhave, who lost her husband and two sons on that flight from Montreal. Throughout this story, Shaila is trying to figure out how to live without her husband and two sons. She goes to Ireland to see where it happened and to identify the ones she lost. When she is done in Ireland, Shaila and many others go back to India, reuniting with their families and holding funerals for those they lost in the attack.  Shaila ends up staying in India for a long time with her mother. When she arrives back in Toronto, her friends are moving and doing things to help them heal from the tragic accident that changed their lives forever.

Selling one’s house and changing jobs and cities is healthy. How do I tell Judith Templeton that my family surrounds me, and that like creatures in epics, they’ve changed shapes… I cannot tell her my days, even my nights, are thrilling. (444)

Shaila is having a hard time coping with the fact that her husband and sons are gone, but she seems to struggle the most out of all of the characters. She guards herself so that people don’t know how she feels. She never wants to live without those people in her life and it’s a difficult thing for her to do. She sells her house and moves into an apartment. She feels like she is moving on but underneath she is still hurting, trying to tell herself that they will come back.

At the end of the story, she hears something tell her, “Your time has come… Go, be brave.” (447) She listens to that and begins a journey, not knowing where it will take her. Shaila is ready to begin anew and find the happiness that she had before, wherever that may be.

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