Ways to Cope with a Character Death (and Other Unfortunate Scenes)

Posted November 9, 2019 by Sophia

cope with character death and other unfortunate scenes

It is definitely way past Halloween (okay, only by a week and a few days), but there is never a wrong time to talk about character deaths. You know, the cinnamon rolls that don’t deserve getting killed off? What did they do to deserve an unfair treatment?

Today, we’re going to talk about some ways to cope.

With character deaths and other unfortunate scenes that make our hearts burst and clench in despair. Maybe some wailing too. Definitely wailing and sobbing. And then we do it all over again with more books because we do like to torture ourselves.

sigh jennie blackpink
Source: Giphy

Write a letter to the author detailing the reasons why their death was unfair but don’t actually send it.

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have nothing to say when I’m journaling. I was productive and wrote a blog post, then I read Jade City and it was very distressful. Oh, I just realized I have books to return next week why do I do this to myself. 😪

Please note my journaling is a lot more rambling and this is maybe a summary of multiple entries. 😌

But occasionally we have really bad days. Those are days when everything is very stressful and we just want to rant; this definitely applies to unfair character deaths. In the style of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, I sometimes write letters. Minus the author’s name because if anyone is petty and wants to get back at me, well, I’m going to make them do the work.

Also, the authors don’t need those letters. The tea can get piping hot.

kid sipping tea
Source: Giphy

Find a way to resurrect them.

We just can’t cope with their death! Can we all agree the cinnamon rolls that get killed off deserve a second chance to live? I mean, if we ever got a chance to resurrect them, they’ll have a better life than wherever they came from. We’re going to look up, down and everywhere to find the key to a second life for them.

But what about the unseen consequences?

That, fellow bookwyrms and friends, is a risk you’ll have to decide if you’re willing to take. I only give suggestions. 🤷‍♀️

Related: Why You Should Resurrect Your Favorite Characters

Buy more books. Eat more books. Get your heart torn again unawares.

Feeling stressed? Buy books. The world is on fire? Buy more books. Having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day? Buy even more books.

picking up books
Source: Giphy

Then you eat them or put them aside for more books. Because how do we cope? By getting more books. Does our wallet appreciate getting more books? No.

Look, in the defense of all bookwyrms everywhere, the books just chase us around until we take them home with us. We’re too nice to decline.

books chasing smurf
Source: Giphy

Gather all the bookwyrms together.

The book community is huge and therefore there is bound to be at least one other who feels this injustice. Gather together with them so you can talk about how unfair it is for them to be dead or injured horrendously. For some reason, I completely forgot about other unfortunate situations and I’ve only talked about character deaths. I’m just really salty about the deaths of cinnamon rolls, aren’t I?

Also, they say there is strength in numbers. And that it’s good to have a support system. But maybe we just want to protest the injustice. AN INJUSTICE!

Accept it unwillingly

If all else fails, accepting it is the last option when coping with character deaths and other unfortunate scenes. I’d rather not, but it is what it is and nothing will change the outcome.

I suppose there is fanfiction… where they’ll more than likely live because there are others who feel the same way. We’ll just repeat the cycle over and over again. Thus is the unfortunate life of a bookwyrm.

crying pikachu
Source: Giphy

Let’s talk, bookwyrms: Have you ever felt a character death was unjustified? How would you cope with unfortunate scenes?

cope with character death and other unfortunate scenes

Sophia started blogging in February 2012 for the hell of it and is surprisingly still around. She has a GIF for nearly everything, probably listens to too much K-Pop and is generally in an existential crisis of sorts (she's trying her best). In 2020, she graduated with a Bachelor's in Communications and minor in Women's Studies. More of her bookish reviews and K-pop Roundups can be found at The Arts STL.

Categories: Books

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20 responses to “Ways to Cope with a Character Death (and Other Unfortunate Scenes)

  1. Lady Stark in A Storm of Swords. I’d just about coped with Ned Stark having his head chopped off in the first book and the death of a number of direwolves – but I won’t deny that hit haard! But when Lady Stark got murdered, the book went flying across the room and I haven’t returned to the series, preferring to watch the TV series, where I can cope with all the bloodshed and whatnot a lot better… A great article, which I thoroughly enjoyed:))

    • Sophia

      Oh no! Just when you thought things were going for the better and everything would be fine.

      Thank you; I’m glad you enjoyed! 🙂

  2. I just feel this post…all the way into my bones. I FEEL it. I feel like I just go read more books to soothe the hurt of the killed character.

    I can’t think of any right this second, but I guarantee you a few hours later I will think of something.

    • Sophia

      LOL. Reading more books is a good coping mechanism until another unfortunate scene happens or a character dies. Why do we do this to ourselves?!?!

  3. Yesssssssss. Am I allowed to say which one? I’ll just say a death in maze runner got me real bad. Took me over a year to read the next book in the series! A healthy break from the author/series is one coping method I take.

    • Sophia

      OMG, I think I know exactly WHO you’re talking about. I’m definitely not over that and I think I’ve avoided the series since because I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with that.

  4. Olivia Roach

    Fanfic. Fanfiction is my favourite coping mechanism because there will undoubtedly be someone who has written alternate endings where the character has survived, or the gang is all together and simply living happily. That way, they never died hehe :3

  5. Hmmm, I don’t know if I ever accept the really painful and senseless deaths, but I like the idea of resurrecting them. I actually formulate alternate endings in my head for all books with endings I don’t agree with, and therefore, can pretty much deny the death ever occurred.

    • Sophia

      That’s a good way to cope with character deaths, especially the painful and senseless ones! They’re usually cinnamon rolls, too, and that hurts the most.

  6. Reading new books to cope with character death from the previous books is such a me thing to do.
    Although, I might consider writing a letter to the author the next time. Catharsis will definitely help in dealing with all the emotions associated with character death or illness or pain or any suffering.
    And acceptance? pish posh, that doesn’t exist.

  7. Clo

    I remember vividly reading Frostbite by Richelle Mead and a certain character dies…one who I mention like EVERY time this topic comes up. THE INJUSTICE WAS REAL I just…I was actually so close to not continuing with the series because I didn’t know how to deal with the death. Anyhoo my coping mechanism was erm…to rant about it to my friends at school (this was during GCSE’s I might add) and wail about how unfair it was until they probably wanted to strangle me because the loss just hit me so hard. *sniffles*

    • Sophia

      😂😂😂 Good thing they didn’t strangle you, then! Ugh, I don’t remember who it was, but I feel like I should know? It’s been ages since I last read the series, oops.

  8. Great post! Haha, not a book, but I just went through this with the end of Stranger Things 3. Gaahhh! Books or shows, unexpected death hits me hard. I usually grab the nearest cat and bawl my eyes out. My cats are patient with me, though they do not appreciate wet fur 🤣

  9. DB

    Buy more books 😂😂 that’ll totally make me feel better about my favourite characters dying – well, it will, for like a day and then I’ll go back to being sad.
    I’m ALWAYS off to fanfiction if something rude happens to my faves. Like I’ll still carry on reading but have about 10 fics open in new tabs ready to take my mind off it 😂
    I think it depends on the context of the character – if I don’t like them and they die I’m usually fist pumping the air because thank goodness I don’t have to hear the character speak again 😁
    And if I like the character, I’ll still be super cut up about the death, but maybe understand a bit. But barely.

    • Sophia

      Just buy more books each day! Well, actually don’t do that without making sure you can afford all the adulting bills first.

      The character is always the most important! I completely agree with cheering (or even not caring) if a character you don’t like dies but barely understanding why if it’s a character you do like, even if there is a reason.