University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Grieving is a natural part of life. Everyone grieves at some point in their lives, whether it’s the loss of a beloved 1st pet fish or a loss of a loved one’s life, everyone grieves differently and everyone requires different approaches during the grieving process. This paper will describe the various stages of grief and what to expect with each stage. This paper will also compare and contrast the grieving process as defined by Kubler-Ross, the story of Job while incorporating the Catholic religion. The interaction between joy and the Kubler-Ross model will also be described.
In the book of Job, Job is presented as a wealthy, righteous man living somewhere between 2000-1000 B.C. Job suddenly experiences the loss of his family, his possessions, and his health. Job relies on his friends to provide him with comfort. Each stage of grief according to Kubler-Ross is seen within the story of Job. The first stage, denial, is noticed when Job denies the severity of his medical condition. Job’s anger, which is the second stage of grief, is expressed in 7:11-15 “Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul”. When Job had learned of the death of his 10 children, he tore his clothes and shaved his head in anger.
The third stage of grief, which is also known as the bargaining stage, is expressed when Job starts to bargain with God in 9:33-34 “If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more”. Depression, which is the fourth stage of grief is apparent in 10:18 “Why then did you bring me out of the womb? I wish I had died before any eye saw me”. Job wishes that he had never have been born so he wouldn’t have to endure the grief and loss which he is experiencing. Acceptance, which is the final stage of grief, is reached after Job stated in (13:15) “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” This versus is a very powerful versus as it is a reminder to be kind and helpful to others although others may not demonstrate these actions.
The Kulber-Ross theory of grief, designed in 1969 by Elisabeth Kubler is most commonly known as the five stages of grief. The five stages of grief represent the stages that on experiences while undergoing grief or similar life events. Ross created this model is describe the stages of grief for people undergoing terminal illness; however, this model can be used for various forms of significant loss such as divorce, loss of job, natural disaster, or loss of a loved one.
The first stage describes a temporary state of disbelief called denial. During the denial stage, an individual shuts out actuality and denies anything bad is really happening. The second stage of grief is called bargaining. Bargaining is when an individual realizes that the denial cannot continue and begins to come to terms with reality. The person may become anger and question why is this happening. People may become angry with themselves, loved one, or others. The third stage is of grief is the bargaining stage. During this stage, patients tend to wish that they can postpone or delay their illness or death.
People display their spirituality in great detail during this phase. They beg for a higher power to undo their loss and make things better again. It’s during the fourth stage that patients tend to feel depressed about their impending situation. The person begins to disconnect himself/herself of life, love, and affection. Most grieving occurs during this stage after the person realizes that their demise is becoming more inevitable. The last and final stage of grief is known as the acceptance stage. It is during this stage that the person has come to terms with their prognosis and feel as if they can reengage in their daily lives again.
People of the Catholic religion, much like most people incorporate the five stages of grief into their lives unnoticeably in times of tragedy. Catholics also experience the most painful form of life, which is losing a loved one. Catholics deny the event, they become angry, they attempt to bargain, they feel depressed, and over time, they learn to accept. Much like Job is thousands and thousands of years ago.
My own personal way to grieving is probably much different than the average person. When a loved one dies, I feel sad, but I do not display sadness nor do I cry. Instead, I celebrate them. I celebrate their life and encourage others to do the same. You would have never of guessed I had just lost my Mom when she passed away a few years ago. Instead of enduring the five stages of grief, I bypass the first four stages and fell into the acceptance stage. I accepted that she was too sick to be here on Earth and her passing was actually a beautiful moment at which I no longer saw the pain and struggle in her eyes. I am confident that she felt a sense of relief as well.
After researching the stages of grief, the writer of this paper is more aware of the process that is needed to people to spirituality be able to heal after a significant event. During the grief process, people experience many emotions, which is clearly defined in the five stages of grief. To acknowledge that Job encountered grief many, many years ago in the exact same way people do now in modern age is reassuring and comforting. Upon completing research of grief, the information learned has not changed by view of grief; however it has made me more aware of the various ways that people react to grief.