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The Dead And Dying, And The Grief Left Behind Add in library

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• How does Wolterstorff find joy after his loss?

• What is the meaning and significance of death in light of the Christian narrative?

• How does the hope of the resurrection play a role in comforting Wolterstorff?



To act emotionally is human, and human beings are perhaps the only living being who can express their emotion that can be comprehended. This emotion leads in getting attached with the people related to them or they know. The short lived attachment leads to grief form the other person or people. The reason is not death, but the feeling the one of their near one would not be there anymore.

The discussion reflects on the book written by Wolterstorff named “Lament for a Son”, which was written in honor of their dead son, who accidentally died in mountain climbing expedition.  The book became a reflection of not only the emotion of the author but also about every people who are suffering or have suffered through such loss.

Stages of Grief:

Many spiritual leaders have identified the five existing stages of grief which happens due to someone’s death or for a person who is soon going to die (Lundquist, ‘Nelsen & Irish, 2014). They are:

  1. The denial stage:

People who are about to die or whose near ones who are going to die (especially whose death is unaccepted) therefore they tend to isolate themselves so that they could accept the fact which is supported by people who know but not themselves (Green, 2010).

  1. Annoyance stage:

The person gets annoyed at this stage. His uncontrolled expressions of emotions reflect on his action (Dastur, 2012). The person could not control his negative reactions on life.

  1. The stage of agreement:

The person starts dealing with the reality slowly. He initiates bargaining about life with God, if there could be any possible ray of hope.

  1. The despair stage

When emotions are highlighted it tends to mourning. They want to go through treatments which are advanced and start believing people who provides positive vibes (Greenawalt, 2006). There are basically two types in this stage, the implication reaction and the reaction in private.

  1. The acceptance stage:

here the person is totally prepared and have accepted the situation (Greenawalt, 2006). This is basically demonstrated as grieving resistance. This implies an act of bravery. The sufferer withdraws and becomes calm in behavior.


The joy after losing his son:

After the death of Eric, Wolterstorff realized that previously the presence of his son was considered as grunted by him. He also realized that all his love was more important and how much he loved Eric. Rather than forgetting he kept on repeating about his son.

Christian narrative importance after losing Eric:

Death fundamentally means the separation of the spirit from the body according to the established belief of Christians. God created mankind in the light of ancient time’s creatures and defined the good in it. But mankind really doesn’t bother about the urge for embodiment beyond time. This generates a fear for dying.

By death in light it means positive overview created after sudden death of a person and in this makes people believe that death in inevitable and it should not be feared. When the soul finds death beautiful than fearing death it is known as death in light (Mallon, 2008).

The hope of Resurrection:

The context in bible about death did not relieve Wolterstorff neither made him remember about the resurrection hope (Greenawalt, 2006). The consideration of not being an incessant pit regarding death is what the author believed. He could realize that something is gone. And in the closing stages of every hope he accepted. He knew that there is no hope of return for his son. He reached the point of acceptance before which everything reminded about his son, Eric (Wolterstorff, 1987).


Any person who is dealing with these the stages of grief, have to be strong enough so that people can learn to be strong from them. From Wolterstorff people came to relate their situation and learned how to deal with the grief and the pain that one suffers from dying and death.



  • Dastur, F. (2012). How are we to confront death?. New York: Fordham University Press.
  • Green, L. (2010). Understanding the life course. Cambridge: Polity.
  • Greenawalt, K. (2006). Religion and the Constitution. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
  • Lundquist, ', F., Nelsen, V., & Irish, D. (2014). Ethnic Variations in Dying, Death and Grief: Diversity in Universality.
  • Mallon, B. (2008). Dying, death, and grief. Los Angeles: SAGE.

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