Feed on

Then as I stood in the path looking north to Queen’s Park and west to the university, I heard the voices of my family one last time. Your time has come, they said. Go, be brave. I don’t know where this voyage I have begun will end. I do not know which direction I will take. (447)

Bharati Mukherjee’s “The Management of Grief” is a story depicting the stages of grief the narrator Shaila has to endure. The quotation above is of Shaila’s acceptance. Through the story, readers note each of Shaila’s friends who were impacted by the Sikh terrorist bombing of the Air India plane in June 1985, go through grief in different ways but still follow the five stages the Kübler-Ross model lays out: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. While each of the characters reaches the different stages at different times, they all, with the exception of the older couple, come to acceptance by the end of the story. The older Sikh couple are still in denial and hope for their two sons’ return. After the last interaction with the Sikh couple, Shaila decides she no longer wants to work with Judith Templeton and instead works on her own to help families by donating money to charities. In turn, this helps her finish her stages of grief and reach acceptance.

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