A universal fact is that human beings are emotional and they get emotionally attached to humans. This attachment is felt more when they lose the person with whom they had attachment. Death is one of the worst kinds of loss that human nature couldn’t accept easily. When someone dies the grief that is felt is not for the life but the attachment that would no longer remain.
The discussion takes a closer look to Woltebrstorff’s book Lament for a son which honors the death of his twenty-five year old deceased son who died accidentally while mountain climbing. The book gives a voice to every people who lost someone special or important in their life and their grief for the loss.
The five stages of grief:
There are five stages of grief which are universally experienced by people throughout the world. The first stage is Denial and Isolation followed by the second stage of anger. The third stage is bargaining or dealing with the face which results in Depression, the fourth stage. The final stage of grief is the acceptance (KuÌˆbler-Ross & Byock, n.d.).
Denial and Isolation:
In this stage the person who are dying due to a terminal disease or the person whose close acquaintances are dying generally doesn’t accepts the truth about the possibility of dying (Jeffers & Smith, 2007). The isolation follows not only with the person, who is suffering but also the person who is not accepting. It happens because the person is not ready to accept the fact.
In this stage the person tries to be angry with may be themselves, their near ones, their dear ones, people whom he or she hates or people whom they don’t know. This is just a reflection of the tumult that a person is going through within himself.
At this stage the sufferer starts bargaining or making a deal with their present situation. They for better medical treatment, relying to the person who gives an optimistic view an finally making a deal with God.
This stage is allied with mourning. There are generally two types, the first type is a reaction implication which is practical, the second one is private, is of more sense and subtle (Balk, n.d.). It is a silent preparation from separation and bidding farewell to their loved ones.
Finally the sufferer is ready to accept the situation. It is a resistance of grief, though it is not a mark of bravery. This phase is more known for the calm and withdrawing nature of the person.
How Wolterstorff found joy after his grave loss:
Wolterstorff found that he took his son for granted and that is why the separation haunted him initially. When he lost his son, he found how great it was when he realized how much he loved his son Eric. He did not forget his son, but he kept on speaking about his son (Wolterstorff, 1987).
Meaning and Significance of death in light for the Christian narrative:
In Christianity death has been explained as the separation of the undying soul from the earthly body. God made humans personified ancient creatures and stated the good in that, but people don’t yearn for embodiment beyond time (Fackre, Fackre & Fackre, 1987). This makes people difficult to live with the thought of death. The death in light in this context refers to the Christians view of the soul enjoying the paradise and its beauty rather than suffering. Death in light is the death that causes an affirmative positive outlook for those who were his near and dear ones (Bloom, 1987). In accordance to the fifth the death by wishing farewell and accepting the time to go is the stage where the death in light occurs.
The hope of resurrection for Wolterstorff:
The elements of the bible did not console him. It did not console him for reminding the hope of resurrection. But if Wolterstorff would have forgotten the hope of resurrection, then the thought would have brought light in his life for reminding it. To him death wasn’t an endless pit. The hope of resurrection reminded him that something is over. Wolterstorff practically understood the meaning of death and how he should deal with it. At the end of every hop ehe knew that his son is gone, and he is not going to come back. Everything reminded him of his son until he reached to a condition of accepting his son’s death.
Though there are common reactions for loss yet not every reaction are same. It depends on the responsiveness to which a person was attached to the deceased person, or how strong the personality is for coping up with grief. There is no surety that a person had to go through the same stages of grief. It is important for a person to understand that what is gone cannot come back. One cannot define grief by feeling it or dealing with it, one can define grief only when he or she has overcome the grief of losing their dear and near ones.
Balk, D. Dealing with dying, death, and grief during adolescence.
Bauer, R. Life after grief.
Bloom, H. (1987). The Bible. New York: Chelsea House.
Fackre, G., Fackre, G., & Fackre, G. (1987). The Christian story. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.
Jeffers, S., & Smith, H. (2007). Finding a sacred oasis in grief. Oxford: Radcliffe.
KuÌˆbler-Ross, E., & Byock, I. On death & dying.
Wolterstorff, N. (1987). Lament for a son. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.