The 7 Stages of Grieving

The 7 Stages of Grieving


Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman

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The 7 Stages of Grieving: Scene 6: Story of a Father Summary & Analysis

The Woman approaches the grave, embraces the block of ice, then turns to the audience and clutches her chest. She complains of pain in her breast. She sits at the edge of the grave and talks to the audience. She is trying to deal with her father’s death. Though he isn’t dead yet, she feels he’ll soon be taken away. At only forty-five, he is already in and out of the hospital frequently. When the Woman thinks of her father alone in the dark, she finds herself crying until she is numb. She is grateful for knowing she’ll never have to live through the things her father has—yet she feels selfish in that gratitude. The Woman finds comfort, when thinking about death, in the realization that everyone and everything dies. The Woman walks offstage.
The Woman’s preemptive grief over her father’s loss is tied inextricably with the symbol of the melting block of ice. The Woman feels that, for her father, time is running out. As she embraces the block—an object whose melting reminds her of how steadily her community is being eroded by the forces of racism, poverty, and colonization—she feels pained and frightened. This scene is emblematic of the ways in which the Woman feels the effects of the seven stages of grief, but not necessarily in a linear order. She is grieving her father’s death before it has even happened—even as she struggles against numbness in other areas of her emotional life. 
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