Dealing with Suffering and Loss

Category: Death, Deception, Grief
Last Updated: 20 Apr 2022
Pages: 6 Views: 672

Suffering and loss is a regular situation in the human life cycle, it is vital to learn how to deal with it so that it doesn’t affect the rest of our lives negatively. In Scott Russell Sanders’s Ten Reasons Why We’ll Always Need a Good Story he explains that one of the reasons is to help us deal and become aware of suffering, loss, and death. During our youth we often don’t consider the end of the life cycle.

However, in life we will always encounter grieving from a loved one’s death. The first time we experience some sort of grieving it may be very hard to handle and may cause depression. Stories help us prepare for moments of suffering, loss, and death with fictional experiences which show us how to deal with these unfortunate events. In the three short stories we read at least one character in each story is forced to deal with suffering, loss, or death.

In the short story Bluffing by Gail Helgason, Liam has an unfortunate accident and experiences physical pain as well as the emotional pain of his deteriorating relationship with Gabriella. In Two Words by Isabel Allende, Belisa Crepusculario is devastated by the death of her entire family due to their impoverished lifestyle and the love between her and the Colonel causes them to miss each other. In The Indisputable Weight of the Ocean by Darryl Berger, Edmund deals with not being able to see his father and deals with the suffering of moving to a suburban area.

Order custom essay Dealing with Suffering and Loss with free plagiarism report

feat icon 450+ experts on 30 subjects feat icon Starting from 3 hours delivery
Get Essay Help

First of all, breaking up with your partner can cause heavy depression to some people and it makes us feel like we’ve lost someone important in our lives, also enduring a large amount of physical pain causes us to more careful to avoid feeling anything like that again. In Bluffing we do not get to witness how Gabriella and Liam’s relationship continues, however, the author leaves us to infer that the relationship is coming to an end. We are also left to infer how they both feel after they breakup.

Gabriella feels that Liam is not committed to the relationship after he broke the news to her that he would be leaving to go on a hiking trip for three months. When Gabriella stormed off into the woods it becomes clear that she is ending the relationship, however, the accident that happened to Liam just after she stormed off made it hard for her to leave him because of his condition, it would make her seem superficial because Liam would think she is breaking up with him because he looks worse: “She knows in her bones that she can manage this way, for the rest of the rest of the afternoon, at least” (Helgason 7).

Another example of suffering and loss in Bluffing is when Liam is unfortunately attacked by a grizzly and receives many injuries to his body and also to his face. Liam has to suffer with this immense amount of physical pain. Liam’s confidence may also be lower due to his “puffed up [skin], mottled, with ridges of shiny, rubbery scar tissue”(Helgason 7) which may cause depression because he doesn’t want anyone to see him the way his is now, looking worse than before. We cannot allow breaking up with our partner or physical pain to affect us negatively for too long because these are both natural incidents of human life.

Second of all, dealing with the death of a loved one is often the most amount of emotional pain someone can experience in a lifetime, also not knowing if you will ever see a loved one can also cause depression. In the short story Two Words Belisa Crepusculario lives an impoverished lifestyle where her “family is so poor they did not even have names to give their children…and [she] grew up in an inhospitable land” (Allende 1) making it hard for the Crepusculario family to survive.

Tragically, Belisa had to bury four younger brothers and sisters. This is most likely the most horrifying incident Belisa will experience in her life time and what made it worse is that they were all very young. Surely, Belisa did a lot of grieving but she overcame her emotional pain and set out on a journey for a positive life. She became widely popular and respected across the country even catching the attention of the Colonel for her incredible skill with words. She enjoys her profession and the new life she has begun.

This story of Belisa’s misfortune is a great lesson of human life because we cannot allow the grieving of a loved one’s death to control the rest of our lives, the same way Belisa beats the odds and begins a positive life: “There were few occupations she was qualified for. It seemed that selling words would be an honourable alternative” (Allende 3). The next example of suffering and loss in Two Words is when Belisa tells the colonel the secret words and they control his mind at an important point in his career: “Those two words that were buried like two daggers in his gut” (Allende 7).

This shows loss because the Colonel is unable to think straight because of his love for Belisa after she tells him the two words. He doesn’t know if he will ever see her again and he is constantly worried about that. This shows us how not being able to see someone you love can affect you negatively. In two words Belisa’s grieving of her siblings and the love between Belisa and the Colonel are two examples that show us how to deal with suffering and loss.

Not being able to see a family member or friend is similar to losing someone, however, we still have hope that we will one day meet them again, and being forced to change your lifestyle can cause suffering. In The Indisputable Weight of the Ocean a “little gentleman” by the name of Edmund Kelley has a father who is a mystery to him. The author explains, “For as long as he could remember, it had just been the two of them” (Berger 1). Since Edmund is an incredibly intelligent ten year old he has surely wondered if his father is actually just away for work for so many years.

His father being away for so long makes Edmund feel as though he has lost him, however, he still has hope that one day his father will return, therefore he does not grieve like he would if he found out that his father is dead. The next example of suffering in the short story is not between two or more humans, it is between Edmund and his changing life. To Edmunds disappointment he and his mom have to leave their isolated lives on the acreage and move to a more populated suburban area.

Since Edmund is anti-social towards children his own age it is hard for him to be around them all the time: “Edmund did not have much use for other children. The only time he saw any was when they went into town for groceries, and what he saw he did not like” (Berger 1). Edmund notices that his mother is only searching for a better life for the both of them: “Edmund was not without consideration for his mom. And because he did not want to be an extra burden on her, he tried to cope with his new situation” (Berger 2). He tried his hardest to never complain about the suffering he is going through.

In these two examples from this short story we learn how to deal with not being able to see a loved one and not knowing when or if you will see them again, and we learn how to cope with new situations that often occur in one’s life. Overall, some of the characters in the three short stories all have to face suffering and/or loss in a variety of ways. All the different situations teach us how to deal with these real life experiences so that suffering and loss doesn’t affect the rest of our lives negatively. We learn how to deal with a deteriorating relationship and physical pain from accidents.

We also learn how to deal with the emotional pain of a deceased loved one and not knowing if you will ever see someone you fell in love with. The last two situations we learn how to deal with are, not being able to see a family member for a long time and the suffering of changing your lifestyle or where you live. Instead of learning from our own mistakes like we are always told to do when we’re growing up, stories allow us to never make those mistakes ourselves, but learn from the mistakes that the characters have made.

Cite this Page

Dealing with Suffering and Loss. (2016, Jul 23). Retrieved from

Don't let plagiarism ruin your grade

Run a free check or have your essay done for you

plagiarism ruin image

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Save time and let our verified experts help you.

Hire writer