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Woterstorffs Reflctions In Lament For A Son Add in library

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1. How does Wolterstorff find joy after his loss?

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

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


1. Wolterstorff’s finding joy after his loss

Narrator has much reason to make grief for one of his son who died at the age of 25 climbing rock alone. However, death has made Eric, his one child among the three special for him – invaluable memory he had coined from his twenty five years of life. Author found to honor his son’s memory by remembering him for always and not forgetting to pass the grief from his own life. He believes his identity has become husband of a wife, father of two living children and one dead son too. He found joy in thinking that he will meet his son after his rebirth from bible where he will come and say ‘Hello’ to him. He also found that god is also suffering due to his loss and make him happy to know that god and him, both are in grief – both are on the same boat. The almighty sent his son to suffer to show us the eternity, which feels him a free passage to show his grievances.

2. The meaning and significance of death after in light of Christian narrative

The meaning of death in Christianity is not mourning for someone. It provides the light of hope to the nearer about the staying soul of the dead with eternity – staying with god. According to Mark, (1988), death is easier and important thing is to show comfort and love in front of death. There are many beliefs in Christianity about death – heaven, hell and purgatory – different for different believers. Though, almost all the doctrine speak of same thing in a same note – resurrection. Death means not end of life except the bodily destroyed for a man. The soul remains untouched and it finds its way to the heaven or other destination. The direction of soul is predestined for every soul and it depends on the activities of that soul in earth. It is the god’s son who promised to have an eternal life in god’s house for those who believe in him and in gospel of forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace. 


3. Role of resurrection of hope in comforting Wolterstorff

Author gets the idea of resurrection from the gospel of bible where it is mentioned that Jesus came back from his tomb after three days of his crucification (Mark, 1988). The gospels stated the discovery of empty tomb of Jesus and rebirth of God’s son at the right side, rise from the death. Author hopes of reappearance of his son one day and hear Eric’s voice on his own year. Author stay put on his hope for rebirth of his son referring to Mark’s bible and god and wants to live long for the day of resurrection. The tragic accident of his son due to climbing the mountain makes him mourn as well as let him finds some comfort in the bible and forwards him to believe that he will talk to his son again and that great day will come sooner or later (Wolterstorff, 1987).

Kubler-Ross model of grief

This is the third stage of grief model of Kubler-Ross where emotional stage is described as bargaining. This stage produces the hope of avoiding the situation of grief where author found himself in god’s hope for rebirth of his son – a reform of the current situation. This bargaining stage comes into the author after accepting the death of his son, which is a trauma to him and also the stages of emotional expression just overlapped in his life where he wants to exchange his prolonged life for hearing his dead son’s voice again (Van der Poel and Nel, 2011).

The five stage model of Kubler-Ross is not assigned to be in the same order as it is doctrine. The stages may be in a different order as seen by (Smaldone and Uzzo, 2013). In this book, the narrator’s emotional stage starts with denying and depression at first. Then he took off his depression and accepted the fact of his son’s death and buried him. He was able to accept the fact that his son has found eternity from death and he will stay with god from then.  The stage of anger was hidden in these three stages as author was frustrated for his son’s death only at the age of twenty five and his son’s work will never be continued. The narrator also found it as an injustice finding that his future must bury him rather he was burying him. The stage of bargaining comes at the last where author found a light of hope of resurrection of his son from bible and make the incident more acceptable for him.


Reference lists

Donahue, John R. “Mark,” (1988). Harper’s Bible Commentary. Ed. James L.

Mays. San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row, Publishers, 983- 1009.

Wolterstorff, Nicholas (1987). Lament for a Son. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Smaldone, M. and Uzzo, R. (2013). The Kubler-Ross model, physician distress, and performance reporting. Nature Reviews Urology, 10(7), pp.425-428.

Van der Poel, J. and Nel, P. (2011). Relevance of the Kübler-Ross model to the post-injury responses of competitive athletes. South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation, 33(1).

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