The Five Stages of Modern Grief

Denial
It’s hard to beat the classics. Denial is the only element of the original five to survive the brutal test of time. When you’ve lost something (or some person, I suppose) close to your heart, pretending it never happened remains the first and best tactic. Coping is difficult, and should be avoided if at all possible. The mantra of modern mental health is “out of sight, out of mind”.

More Denial
Ignoring a problem until it goes away or explodes is the linchpin of our coping arsenal. In most cases, the denial phase will extend far past the point of parody. As the bills pile up and the police begin asking uncomfortable questions, living in a comfortable bubble of sweet unreality is always the first, and second, choice.

Social Networking
Eventually, the crisis becomes impossible to ignore. At this point, its time to announce your personal tragedy to the internet.

Family is dull, therapy is expensive, and you lost all of your real friends years ago. So why not use the internet as a worldwide support group? Condolences for a lost parent hold twice the weight when given in tweet form. Few funerals will have a turnout as large as the Facebook memorial page. Even fewer will grant you more attention than the deceased.

Litigation
After coming to mental terms with the situation, it’s time to come to legal terms.  You’ve been deeply and personally scarred, and that means that someone has to pay. Preferably in the upper hundred thousands, if not millions. There’s no void in the human heart that can’t be filled with a successful lawsuit. Civil Court can provide a sense of closure that no grief counselor can hope to match.

Book Deal
Like anything worthwhile in life, your grief has a potential publisher. Quietly accepting the hand dealt to you by fate is fine, but the truly savvy write three hundred pages about just how silent and acceptant they are. It’s a beautiful racket, and your husband’s car accident is your key to a nation-wide book tour, a guest spot on Oprah, and a comfortable position on the Bestsellers List.

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