How Do We Cope with Loss and Grief? Discuss, with Close Reference to the Texts, ‘Love, Ghosts and Nose Hair’ and ‘Looking for Alibrandi’.

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Experiencing loss and grief is an unavoidable part of human life. After analysing the texts ‘Looking for Alibrandi’ and ‘Love, Ghosts and Nose Hair’, it is evident that people cope with loss and grief in many different ways. The protagonists from both of the texts experienced some form of loss or grief. Both Josie and Jack lost someone who meant a great deal to them; at different ages and in different circumstances. This meant the way in which they grieved and how long they coped for, was different. In the poetry text, Jack’s mother died from breast cancer when he was nine. In the novel, Josie’s best friend John Barton committed suicide when she was seventeen. Although she died when he was young, Jack still communicates with his mother via a spiritual connection. He creates a ‘ghost’ of her, which he talks to and confides in. By creating this fictitious mental image, Jack is actually denying the fact that his mother is gone. Josie denies John’s death when Ivy tells her what happened: “This is a joke, isn’t it, Ivy, I said angrily, shaking her. A real sick one. John’s not suicidal. Some dickhead is having you on.”

As well as being in denial, the protagonists also experience anger whilst dealing with the loss of a loved one. Josie profusely expresses her anger by shouting at her parents:
“How dare he kill himself when he’s never had any worries!” She cannot understand why John could possibly want to kill himself. She believes that he has no worries; he has nothing to be suicidal about. Jack is also angry. However, his anger is directed differently. He is angry at the doctors, for saying that everything will be fine and that his mother is going to survive. In one of his poems he writes: “... and never, but never, believe doctors who say

‘everything will be all right.’”
The authors of both the poetry text and the novel use a range of writing techniques to engage readers. In the poetry text, the author cleverly conveys the characters’ feelings to readers...
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