We typically think of the grief cycle as it relates to coping with death, but people grieve in just about any situation where they feel like the rug has been pulled out from under them. Whether your protagonist is fired from his job, betrayed by a friend, filing bankruptcy, or just learned he was adopted from the planet Remulak, he probably experiences these stages --
- Shock, Denial, Confusion
- Anger, Embarrassment, Shame
- Depression, Blahs, Detachment
- Bargaining, Dialogue, Attempt to Find Meaning
- Acceptance, Exploring Options, A New Plan in Place
Toodle next door to Unk's blog and read the entire post, Transformational Character Arc, Part 14 and any other parts if you've fallen behind. He's working on making the series available as a handy dandy download but the whole thing smacks of a pocket reference book to me.