Spirituality in Health Care
Grand Canyon University
December 14, 2012
Feeling and expressing grief is unique to each individual and it depends on the nature of their loss. People experience all kinds of emotions, pain and sadness that are considered normal reactions to a significant loss. While there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the grief (helpguide.org). Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, a Psychiatrist invented the “five stages of grief”, based on the grieving process when negative life changes and loses happen, such as death of a loved one. The five stages of grief according to Kubler-Ross are responses that many people may go through, but there is not a typical response to loss as there is no typical loss and everyone grieves differently (helpguide.org). The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The story of Job in the Bible is an example that displays all the stages of grief set forth by Kubler-Ross’s grief model. Job was a Christian man who followed the path of God’s will in His life. Kubler-Ross was not a Christian, and formulated the grief model from observing patients in a hospital who were dying from terminal illness. Job suffered great loss in his life and endured different stages in his grieving process but never denounced God. The five stages of grief compared and contrasted with the life of Job Denial
The first response of grief according to Kubler-Ross is denial and isolation. This is a stage of shock and numbness and a time when a grieving person is trying to grasp the situation that something tragic has just happened in their life. Job is grieving at his tremendous loss., he lost his children, his wealth and health. It seemed unreal to Job that he tore his clothes, shaved his head and fell on the ground. Job 1: 21 reads “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord “(The Christian Life Bible). Job mourned and lamented at his loss but did not reject God. In contrast to the grief model where the patients knew they were going to die, Job even in his loss knew that he had life. Job maintained total submission to God’s plan in his life. The things of this world can become overwhelming and meaningless to those who are grieving a great loss but knowing God can help to overcome all difficulties of life. Anger
Anger is the second stage of grief. According to Kubler-Ross when a patient can no longer maintain the denial stage, they enter into the stage of anger, rage and resentment and start questioning everyone and everything (Roy,A.). Job cursed the day he was born. Job3:16 illustrate his frustration and he felt that death would be easier to endure than his grief. Job is angry and felt betrayed by God. Job’s anger becomes obvious and can be seen in Job 7:11-15. According to Kubler- Ross, anger is a defense used against the primary feelings of hopelessness and helplessness (grief.com). Job is defending himself by showing his anger to ease his pain of loss. But even in his anger, Job maintains communication with God. The feeling of anger may be towards anyone, may be a person who didn’t attend the funeral, doctors, other family members, loved one who have passed (grief.com). It is natural to feel pain and deserted in this stage and finds it hard to accept the loss. Bargaining
In this stage, feeling of guilt is common and trying to blame it on ourselves and questioning selves for things that could have been done different to prevent the loss. A grieving person may bargain or try to negotiate a compromise to ease their pain and try to do anything to not feel the pain of loss. For example, a Hindu friend of mine once wrote a letter to Billy Graham indicating to heal her dying mother from cancer and if the mother lives then she will convert to Christianity. That was a bargain and it did not...