First, I would like to establish that this is a safe space, and we are here together for one reason: We have lost a fictional friend. Please accept my deepest condolences and the thought of a tissue, since this is a blog and I cannot physically hand you a tissue. Let’s embark on this journey of grief together.
- Disbelief – CAN YOU BELIEVE HE/SHE IS DEAD? No. No you cannot. That is why the first stage is disbelief. The loss of a character is always met with a dreaded, heart-stopping moment of impact. We think, What just happened? This must be a dream sequence. Or an alternative future. SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS A DREAM SEQUENCE! My friends, it is not, and I am so, so sorry.
- Denial – Liar! It is a dream sequence and they are alive and well. Shut up! Please, take another tissue. I’m going to need a few more myself. This is usually the point where I re-watch or reread the death scene, looking for a way out, for something I missed. There’s always a loophole…right?
- Bargaining – Dear Steven Moffat, Joss Whedon, and every other writer who has ever MURDERED a beloved character, WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?
- Guilt – If only I hadn’t opened the book, then they never would have died. Wait, by reading the book, I set events into motion. Is this my fault? (No, that’s ridiculous. This is fictional…but still HEARTBREAKING.)
- Anger – This stage usually goes something like this:
- Depression – At which point you literally can’t even, you can only odd. If you’re like me, you may also suffer from the urge to look up character fan art on Pinterest for three hours straight. (It’s an addiction. Send help.) Also, what is life? Nothing, because that one person from that amazing tv show or book or movie or video game is no longer a part of yours. Hang in there, brighter days are coming.
- Acceptance – And now, my dear friends, we have made it to the end. By which I mean, we are still FURIOUS about losing that one fictional friend who meant the world to us, but are able to love again. (Unfortunately, we will probably see each other here again soon.)