Running head: DEALING WITH GRIEF
Dealing with Grief
Mary Ann Jones
Grand Canyon University
Foundations of Spirituality in Healthcare
December 22, 2012
Dealing with Grief
Healthcare provider interact with people who are experiencing and dealing with grief every day. Stress and grief are normal reactions when someone has died, diagnosed with a critical illness, or even sent home on hospice knowing that death is imminent. “Grief is a normal and natural internal reaction to a loss of any kind. Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior” (Athan, 2011). In this paper the author will discuss Kubler-Ross’ 5 stages of Grief; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance (DABDA). This paper will also include the comparison and contrast of the tribulations that Job experienced and the stages of grief he went through. The author will also discuss the process of grieving in other cultures and religions.
Grief is an emotion that people experience when they have had a loss of something or someone that is important in their life. Grief is shown differently depending on the person. Some are verbal with their grief; others may show it through actions, and some may show it through emotions. People grieve in their own way and when they are ready: it is an very personal process. Grief is a natural process of living, and mourning that is an important part of the healing process. Grief cannot be rushed because it takes time and everyone experiences it differently. Not everyone will go through the stages in the same order (Axelrod, 2006). Society makes a difference by their reaction to grief. “We are a grief and death denying society” (Athan, 2011). Unresolved grief can be damaging, as well as it can lead to multiple problems like addiction, anxiety, depression, or even suicide.
Kubler-Ross says that denial is the state of becoming numb and in shock. After Job lost his 10 children, all his servants and livestock, Job cursed the day he was born, but he never cursed GOD (Job 3:3 NLT). He grieved and mourned his losses, but stayed true to himself and never lost his identity. Often people suffering the loss express anger directed at GOD, a family member who is sick, dying or has already passed, or even at themself. Job though refused to give up, even as his angry wife pleaded with him to curse GOD because he took everything from them including his health(Job 2:9-10 NLT). Bargaining is a process of a person making promises, negotiating or pleading for something to change in exchange for something else. At this point Job continued asking “Why”, but stayed faithful to GOD despite what was happening, even though he had no explanation for his suffering (Job 3:20-23, 7:11-21 NLT). Depression in this situation is not considered a mental illness, but rather a response to a loss. Job was definitely suffering, and all of his friends and wife were angry and unable to provide comfort to him. He felt alone and abandoned. Job truly believed that suffering was not a tool of judgment, but a way of fortifying your faith (Job 4:7-21, 6:14-21, 7:1-5 NLT). The final stage of grief is the acceptance stage. This is when the healing process has started and the person is able to come to terms with their loss and they are becoming less angry as they heal. Job conveyed acceptance of his loss when he expressed, “I came naked from my mother’s womb and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord” (Job 1: 20-21 NLT). “Each culture has its own traditions, rituals and ways of expressing grief and mourning” (Athan, 2011). The Jewish have a 7 day mourning period (called “Shiva”) after the burial, which is where family leaves a candle burning and stay in their home during the entire 7 day period. The community comes together to support the family and close friends of the...
References: Athan, Lisa (2011) Grief Speaks Retrieved November 25, 2012
Axelrod, J. (2006). The 5 Stages of Loss and Grief. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25,
2012, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/2006/the-5-stages-of-loss-and-grief/
Katz, Leslie (1995) Mourning rituals help Jews confront the grief of loss
Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth & Kessler, David (2012) Retrieved November 25, 2012
Life Recovery Bible (1996) New Living Translation (2nd ed.) Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
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