Grief crying with book

Finishing a Book: The 5 Stages of Grief


The ending of a life opens doors for new beginnings. This statement parallels with the lifespan of a book. Everyone has read a book that leaves us all kinds of worked up and ready to read at the end of each day. The book that keeps us up well into the wee hours of the night even though we must wake up early the following day.


But when that book ends, when we reach the last page and find the backside of the cover, this is when we enter the 5 stages of grief – the book version.


1. Denial



You can’t accept the fact that this marvelous piece of work is actually over. Normally these types of emotions emerge with the ending of a series, or a singularly spectacular novel. Regardless of the type, to fully take on the reality that you cannot read this book brand new again is a tough thing to chew.


2. Anger



The rage one feels at the closing of a book tends to set in in a number of ways, particularly when the book is becoming a movie. Some book readers hate this idea, for often the cinematic experience ruins the novel you fell in love with. This is a problem. Another reason for anger that once a book is finished, you really have to face those real-life responsibilities. You no longer have an excuse to bail on your friends for drinks and you can no longer ignore the pile of dishes and laundry calling your name. Oops.


3. Bargaining



You bargain with your life, your money, your happiness, your anything just to find a sequel, a second ending, fan theories, a spin-off, literally anything to keep this book alive.


4. Depression



The fourth stage is easily the longest, and perhaps the hardest. No other book lives up to this one, nothing can replace it, and you and the world are both well aware of this. This is a startlingly saddening realization, and you must take the time to come to terms with this. Another will come along, just a matter of time, my friend.


5. Acceptance



It’s time. However long it took you to reach the final stage, you’re finally there and we’re all proud of you. You have come to the conclusion that the book is in fact over, you won’t be able to read it for the first time again, but man, what an experience it was. On to the next one, to restart the cycle all over again.


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