The Grieving Process and the Stages of Grief

Grief can be understood as a natural emotional response to loss of someone or something close. This occurs when one loses a person or something, to whom or which they were attached by strong bonds. The grieving process as developed by Kübler-Ross is analyzed below. This has been done by outlining the five stages of grief as established by Kübler-Ross in her work. In addition, it is essential to emphasize how the story of Job in the Bible correlates with the grieving process as defined by Kübler-Rossand how the two compare with the Islamic view of grief. In the essay, the comparison between joy and the grieving models was done, focusing on the question as to whether one can grieve and have joy at the same time. Finally, I have related the research to my own view of handling grief.

The five stages of mourning as developed by Kübler-Ross in her work have been experienced by people from different parts of the world during grief times, and, thus, the stages tend to be universal. However, in most cases, the stages might not occur in the order as outlined by Kübler-Ross. The length of the time spent in each stage may also differ from one person to another.

The first stage is referred to as the denial stage. At this stage, the individual learns of the loss of the loved one and gets shocked. This leads to a feeling of disagreement or opposition of the reality about the situation or tragedy that has occurred. There is a feeling of disbelief at this stage, but this is a normal reaction, and it helps to decrease the immediate shock.

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The second stage is the anger stage. During this stage, feelings of a person, which have been opposing the reality in the first stage, submerge. Subsequently, that person starts seeing the facts. The pain starts again, while questions of ‘why’ or ‘how’ accompany this stage. This leads to a feeling of anger towards the healthcare, family members, and the deceased or even other strangers.

Bargaining is the third stage, and it is characterized by negotiations of a person within himself. He or she seeks various alternatives, which one might have used to prevent the occurrence of the incidence. This person regrets as to why he or she did not prevent its occurrence, but this gives him or her a temporary hope to prevent the pain, since one has already seen the reality.

Depression is the fourth stage, and at that moment, the reality becomes completely clear in the person’s mind. The symptoms of this stage are sadness, lack of sleep and lack of appetite. In order to ease the situation, one may need kind words and a helpful cooperation with other people close to him.

The last and the final stage referred to as acceptance. At this stage, one accepts the reality and has to understand that nothing can change the reality. However, this does not mean that one has been relieved off the pain of losing his or her loved one by accepting the situation. A person learns how to move on with our normal lives despite the loss that occurred.

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The above are the Kübler-Ross’ stages of grief; consequently, it is essential to see how the stages correlate with the suffering story of Job in the Bible. Job was a righteous man, who devoted his life to God, but was once faced with suffering and grief. His suffering started when God permitted Satan to subject him to trails so as to test his faithfulness towards God. God considered Job as blameless, but Satan argued that his faithfulness was due to the blessings that God had given him. Job lost all his property, his children and his wife left him as a trial. In addition, Job was subjected to disease.

When the sufferings begun, Job could not believe that it was happening to him. He showed a sign of denial and insisted that God knew that he was not guilty of anything. The reader also sees the Job’s anger as he questions whether people can expect something good from God. This was after Job came to realize that the denial that God could not subject him to suffering for nothing did not work to reduce his pains. He questioned God why he had to suffer and saw it as being unfair, since he had done nothing wrong. The Job’s bargaining stage can be evidenced when he sought arbitration between him and God so as to end the sufferings. All the trials that Job went through made him become depressed. This can be noted from the book of Job chapter 10:18, when Job questions God why he brought him to the world. He wonders why he was born, and the depression makes him assume that it would have been better if he had died when he was young, rather than going through all that pain. Job suffered a lot until his wife advised him to abuse God and die, but he strongly stood on the side of his God. The acceptance is seen in Job, since he decides to trust in God despite all the pain he was going through. He accepted the sufferings and moved on with his faithfulness to God and his righteous life until God came and rewarded him for his patience.

The research also shows that a person of the Islamic religion goes through the same stages in mourning for the loss of his or her loved ones. They also believe the state of grief and mourning is normal for all human beings. In psychotherapy, the grieving stages include shock and denial, the realization stage, depression, making peace with one’s past, and the acceptance stage.

All the above examples show that the process of mourning has some stages, which occur naturally in all human beings. The denial stage occurs in all, whereby a person does not accept the reality due to the shock. Afterwards, he or she accepts the reality and expresses a feeling of anger towards the situation. The person may regret of having wasted an opportunity that would have helped to save the deceased. After the realization that the anger has not served anything and feeling guilty of the anger, he or she then becomes depressed. The next stage is where the person tries to make peace of mind and tries to move on with the normal life.

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However, in one’s life, the mourning time should not deprive him or her of joy. Even though it is impossible for a normal human being to be joyful all of his or her lifetime, whenever faced with grief, one should handle it in a way that will not take the place of joy. The above outlined stages are, therefore, crucial for a complete healing whenever faced with a tragedy. Thus, one has to learn how to live with his or her loss and handle the grief in a way that will allow joy to be present in one’s life. The emotions of joy and grief are always within a person, and one should not separate them. Laughing during the mourning time, even though it may not seem normal, can help a person in healing faster. It is essential for people to allow themselves to experience all the emotions, whereas it helps in preventing the grief from becoming unbearable and causing more pain.

The Kübler-Ross’ grieving process correlates with both the Job’s story and the Islamic religion mourning process. However, my preferred way to handle grief depends on the type of grief and the individual suffering from the same. Even though the stages seem universal, they are general and may not apply to all types of grieves. The causes of grief are also different, and this implies that the process may not necessarily follow the above stages. For example, a death of a person’s loved one, who had been ill for a long time, may be different from that of a sudden death such as the one caused by an accident. For a person, who has been ill for a long time, the mourning may start even before the person’s death; therefore, his or her death may not lead to the denial or shock stage. However, the research has not changed my view of grief to a substantial degree, since I still believe that to prevent more harm, either mentally or emotionally, people should allow themselves to go through a complete mourning process. This will help them in coping with the loss and moving on with their normal life despite the loss of the loved ones.

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