Posted in On Writing, Reality in Fiction, Useful Sites

Reality in Fiction: Grief

There are many things which can be grieved and what connects them all is loss. People will grieve the loss of a job just as much as they will grieve the loss of a person. If it involves a loss, then it also involves grief.

Loss can be grieved in any number of ways. The grief may be express quickly which will also begin the healing process quickly or the grief may take years to be expressed in which case the healing may never come.

Unfortunately, there are many stories where the writer forgets that their character is grieving. When the writer forgets about the character’s loss, the character also forgets about their loss. This means that the character does not deal with their grief.

If grief is not dealt with, it can get worse. Grief can turn into depression or complicated grief which may require professional help.

The most well-known stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These stages can overlap, repeat, or skip; and there is no set timeline nor set order for the stages.


When someone is in the denial stage they block out the facts about what happened. I like to call this stage the “shock” stage because the griever is in shock about what happened.

The griever may feel a numbness about what has occurred and cannot process that it is real. During this phase someone may appear to just be going through the motions of life without thinking about what they are doing.


During the anger stage, the griever is trying to find someone or something to blame for their loss.

The griever may feel frustrated as well as an anger about what has occurred. Some people may direct their anger at the loss while others may direct it toward a higher power.


The bargaining stage is what most people think of when it comes to grief. The griever becomes consumed with how their loss came about.

The griever may feel an intense guilt about the loss. They will think about the events which brought about the loss. The griever will also try to think about how things could have gone better and the loss be prevented.


The depression stage consumes the griever with loss but prepares them to say goodbye.

The griever may feel as if it is impossible to get past their grief. All they can think about is their loss and the issues which have arisen because of the loss.


In the acceptance stage the griever accepts that loss is a part of life.

The griever has come to terms that the loss has occurred and that they cannot change that fact. Once the griever has accepted the loss, they are able to begin the healing process.


If you or someone you love is going through the grieving process, I recommend checking out the links below. The information I found on these sites helped SO and me to work through our grief at his father’s passing.

The following articles are specifically about complicated bereavement disorder:


The AP Roberts is an extremely rare creature and there is only one known AP Roberts in the world. Usually off in its own little world, the AP returns to reality when it gets lonely. This elusive creature is rather difficult to catch on film, however will pose for drawings. The AP, though wild by nature, can be tamed and makes a wonderful pet. It should also be known that while the AP gets along with most creatures it has an intense fear of insects and large canines. The AP lives on a diet of mainly vegetables and candy but is not known to refuse food that is made and offered through kindness. The drink of choice for the AP is tea though it is known to drink water and juice. There is still much to be learned of the AP however, most agree that the writings of the AP are truly something to behold. Hopefully, one day the AP will find a good Agent creature who will introduce the AP's writings to a good publisher creature and the world will be able to read the AP's works.

2 thoughts on “Reality in Fiction: Grief

  1. You have a great point about writers forgetting the character’s grief or a similar trauma. Sometimes writers seem to think there has to be some sort of death or terrifying experience in order to get the ball rolling, but they drop that as soon as they think the plot is up and running.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you. I was thinking that writers were just forgetting but you make a good point about them thinking it is no longer useful. I hadn’t thought about it from that angle. 🙂



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