Yuuri and Grief/Loss as it Applies to his Career (and Victor)
Following my Victor and Grief post, here is a look at Yuuri’s perspective to his feelings of grief and loss surrounding his own career. Unlike Victor whose perspective we didn’t get until later episodes, Yuuri’s has been laid bare for us since episode 1. We’ve gotten the chance to hear his thoughts in specific moments and watch his evolution throughout the course of the show.
So one thing that I think will come as a surprise to absolutely no one is that he has been grieving over the loss of his career since episode 1. And added to that is that he accepted this loss by the time episode 12’s hotel scene rolled around.
Let’s take a moment to quickly review what kinds of loss Yuuri has been working through.
In the interest of not repeating a huge chunk of text that I already described at the beginning of my Victor post, I’m going to point you to it here and only describe the portions here that apply to Yuuri.
The type of loss that Yuuri works through during the show would fall under the category of Anticipatory Loss. In short, this is the anticipation of loss, regardless of whether the loss will actually come to pass or not. Victor says “I’ll get you gold at the GPF” but never actually states during the entire show that his coaching and time with Yuuri will end there. That interpretation of his words is entirely on Yuuri’s end. Yuuri then spends a lot of time convincing himself that he is going to lose Victor when there’s been no confirmation on whether that will actually happen or not.
The impact of Yuuri’s loss very clearly falls under the category of Compound Loss. It’s easy enough to see that through losing his career he feels like he is going to lose a lot more (the future tense and focus on how he feels about it are important as his loss is about something he feels he is going to lose in the future). He would be losing his role, identity, direction, and more. But most importantly he’d be losing his relationships, both with his friends/fellow skaters (Phichit for example) as well as with Victor, both before he knew him (he’d lose his chance to ever get to know him in any capacity) and after (he’d lose the relationship he had grown with him as a person and not just a skater).
As you can see, none of that really comes as a surprise because Yuuri himself has basically told us as much. So let’s get into the 5 stages and see where they play in.