Dealing With Grief In The Lovely Bones Essay

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The characters in Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones are faced with the difficult task of overcoming the loss of Susie, their daughter and sister. Jack, Abigail, Buckley, and Lindsey each deal with the loss differently. However, it is Susie who has the most difficulty accepting the loss of her own life. Several psychologists separate the grieving process into two main categories: intuitive and instrumental grievers. Intuitive grievers communicate their emotional distress and “experience, express, and adapt to grief on a very affective level” (Doka, par. 27). Instrumental grievers focus their attention towards an activity, whether it is into work or into a hobby, usually relating to the loss (Doka par. 28). Although each character deals with …show more content…
He has difficulties recognizing when to express emotions, causing his family members to continually feel like he is not emotionally present. His constant guilt for not being able to save his daughter causes him to withdraw from his family. Although he keeps himself busy, Jack still becomes overcome with grief at times, leading him to break the bottled ships that he and Susie worked on. He also attempts to replace the emptiness by developing a relationship with Lindsey. Jack tries to make up for the absence of Lindsey’s mother by helping her learn to shave, although the subject is quickly changed to Susie. Jack’s determination to catch the killer clouds his sense of parental judgment as he encourages Lindsey to break into Mr. Harvey’s house. This instance shows how lost and out of touch with reality he has become. His grief also prevents him from developing a strong relationship with his son, Buckley, who constantly feels overshadowed by his older sister’s death. His severe reactions greatly affect the relationships he still has, driving his wife away and forcing Lindsey to grow up prematurely. By holding so tightly to his memories with Susie, he fails to create new, happy memories with his two children. Abigail Salmon’s emotional journey is comparable to a roller coaster. She is both an intuitive and instrumental

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