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Symbolism of “The Management of Grief” Essay

In ‘The Management of Grief” the narrator states that “Acceptance means you speak of your family in past tense and you make active plans for moving ahead with your life.” This quote is key to the theme because it ties in with dealing with loss while also struggling with being an outsider in a foreign country.

Mrs. Bhave is a widowed mother of two who lost her sons and husband to a plane crash. She is viewed as the strongest of the group who lost someone because she has taking everything calmly and wasn’t hysterical or depressed. Judith Templeton, an appointee of the provincial government, came to Mrs. Bhave to ask for her help with talking to some of the other people who had lost someone. Judith is pushing he and everyone else to move on with their lives and to accept help and start over, but the older generation of her nationality had different view on how to deal with the loss of a loved one.

Mrs. Bhave is assigned to an older couple who have lost their son and are starting to lose everything else because they are keeping up hope of him coming home. She tries to help Judith by getting the couple to sign to get help from the provincial government but finds out that that isn’t her mission in Toronto. This couple helps her realize that it’s okay to live for you loved ones even if they aren’t still here and everyone else is pushing you to move on. They show her that her nationality’s values are different from those of Judith’s and that it is okay to go by those values even though they aren’t preferred by everyone else.

When you see this quote in the story it is Mrs. Bhave paraphrasing Judith Templeton but can also be viewed in her own life. She hasn’t forgotten or given up hope on her family but she has made the decision to live with them as a memory and keep moving through life. She uses this memory and the values of her nationality to push her on and keep her going in her mission.

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