Beth is working on herself. She is doing the work. Lots of it is about change and loss and so she’s been digging around into some of the usual contemporary accepted wisdoms, like the five stages of grieving model. Five stages, she snorts. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Beth reckons Elizabeth Whatsherface can keep her five damned stages. The model is all wrong. There’s nothing stagey or linear about it all as far as she can see. All that stuff – the denial and bargaining and all the rest – it feels like it’s been chucked in a cement mixer. No wait, not violent enough. A blender. On high. With the sharpest blades. And what comes out is a pulpy mess, a kind of bland, beige stickiness. Grief is not something that has five stages, Beth says. Grief is like hummus. She tells her friend Sal who takes issue. Sal loves hummus, and babaganouj too, and if Beth was being honest, so does she. But the grief is overpowering, and Beth can’t think of a better metaphor so she sticks to her guns. She imagines scraping her blender clean, wondering how she can get to acceptance from where she stands.


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