The Management of Grief by Bharati MukherjeeA true to life short story account of deep loss. Mukherjee responds to an 80’s plane crash by sharing the story of Shalia, who learns her family members have gone missing after their plane to Heathrow airport has split into two. She, along with her neighbour Kusum and other families affected by the crash demonstrate different coping methods and emotions that come to the surface in the face of loss. Grief is one of those experiences that looks different for everyone and Mukherjee does a great job showing some of the extremes of this, including denial, spirituality and the changes one may see in others or themselves after a loss. This story read like a non-fiction piece, which I appreciated as well, because it demonstrated a truly human experience in a down-to-earth manner.
Although not explicit, there are cultural themes threaded throughout as well - i.e Indian families living in North America and facing loss in NA and the cultural rift between Hindus and Sikhs at the time of writing. I appreciated these themes because they demonstrate a difference between how the east and west ‘manage grief’. Which, by the way, the title is perfect. Regarding the rift, Mukherjee demonstrates that despite our differences, the ultimate loss of loved ones is a shared human experience. It made me consider how I treat others and what it means to be there for other people during the hard times.
The Management of Grief
It is the only story about immigrants in Canada in her collection. The story is written in the first person, and it makes it moving and realistic. It is a mixture of narration and dialogue. The text abounds in special terms, naming traditional Indian clothes and dishes. This creates a realistic atmosphere and makes the understanding of the theme easier for the reader.
The author uses the themes to express the loss and desperation of Shaila and the grieving victims of the plane accident. Shaila addresses this in her stream of consciousness when she and Dr. Ranganathan are being shown images of the dead bodies found. They were also from Montreal. On the contrary, I am ecstatic.
The Management of Grief
Management of Grief - Bharati Mukherjee
Bharati Mukherjee In third person narration, Shaila recounts the emotional events surrounding the event and explores their effects on herself, the Indian Canadian community, and mainstream Euro-Canadians. The clumsy intervention of a government social worker represents the missteps of the Canadian government in the general handling of the catastrophe. Mukherjee herself had a deep personal response to the crash, having lived in Canada from to with her husband, Clark Blaise. In a book-length investigation and account of the incident, The Sorrow and the Terror, co-written with Blaise, Mukherjee pieces together the bombing and events leading up to it, charging the government with ignoring clear signs of Khalistani terrorism cultivated on Canadian soil. Mukherjee argues that the government dismissed the escalating Indian Canadian factionalism e.