With the lose of a loved one the experience of immense grief is a common emotion. In
Alice Sebold’s novel The Lovely Bones, the Salmon’s lose their young daughter Susie in
the tragedy of a brutal murder. The family left behind experience great deals of grief
coping with the new absence. As Susie watches them from heaven, she tells their story as
they try to make their ways through life without her. Her renditions on her family
provided an inside look at how it is to lose a loved one and the process that follows.
When Sebold wrote The Lovely Bones she intended it to show how it is to face an
overwhelming lose and there are 5 crucial steps that one must go through to finally reach
a stabilized, new lifestyle.
The first stage in the grieving process is Denial. Denial is a conscious or unconscious
refusal to accept facts, information, reality etc., relating to the situation concerned. It is a
defense mechanism and perfectly natural. Some people can become locked in this stage
when dealing with a traumatic change that cannot be ignored. There are different types of
denial. Denial of fact, Denial of responsibility, Denial of impact, Denial of awareness,
Denial of cycle and Denial of denial. A person usually experiences one or more of these
types of denial. Eventually the person is able not able to deny the situation any longer
with mounting evidence that points at the obvious. This is when they move to the nest
step in the process.
In Sebold’s novel the first stage of denial occurs right away when the Salmon’s get a
call about the discovery of an elbow at the sight of their daughter’s murder. At this point
Susie has been missing for quite some time but her father and mother still refuse to
believe that she is dead. With the news of the elbow is becomes quite clear what has
happened to Susie, but still her parents will not believe she is gone. Her father and mother...