Warning: spoilers for The Walking Dead ahead
With death comes grief, and with grief comes the labyrinth of emotions of the mourning process, a process that ideally helps lead to some sort of closure, and with it an ability to move forward in one’s own life. A popular breakdown of that process, the “Five Stages” theory was first introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying. Kübler-Ross’ work is still referenced frequently, and used by many as roadmap for navigating loss.
Of course, for those of us who watch AMC’s The Walking Dead, death comes frequently — albeit to fictional characters. Still, they’re fictional characters with whom we’ve grown familiar, watching them contend with the zombie apocalypse week after week, season after season. With the show’s midseason finale just around the corner, here are the five stages of death, explained through reactions to characters lost over the course of the show’s five-plus seasons