What is happening at the beginning of The Management of Grief?

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hello! You asked about 'The Management of Grief' by Bharati Mukherjee.

At the beginning of the story, we are introduced to Mrs. Bhave, who has just lost her husband and two sons in a terrorist attack. The tragedy in question is the actual Sikh terrorist bombing of an Air India plane on June 23, 1985, which killed all 329 passengers and crew on board.

Mrs. Bhave is numb from her pain. She notices that there are a lot of people in her house, one making tea the Indian way, another asking her if she is worried about money. She thinks that someone must have brought down the radios from her sons' rooms but both radios are tuned to different stations. Dr. Sharma, the treasurer of the Indo-Canadian society has taken charge in her house. She overhears him telling someone over the phone that she (Mrs. Bhave) has been given calming pills, but all she wants to do is to scream. She thinks she can hear her husband and sons screaming out her name. She is overwrought and tense; everything seems surreal. As a very traditional woman who never even called her husband by his name nor told him she loved him, she is wracked with overwhelming guilt and grief.

So, the beginning of the story sets the context and background for Mrs. Bhave's personal journey in processing her grief. Thanks for the question!

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The Management of Grief

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