The loss of a family member and/or loved one can put someone on an emotional roller coaster. Whether it is an expected or unexpected loss, the emotional process of dealing with the grief could be the same. With an expected loss, loved ones are able to prepare themselves for what is to come. An unexpected loss could bring more emotions into the grieving process. This paper will discuss the grieving process by Kubler-Ross, the story of Job, and the way Muslims deal with death and dying. While some people focus on the sadness of losing a loved one, others try and find the positive in the any situation.
To grieve the loss of a loved one, many would say that they feel a lot of different indescribable emotions. Shock, disbelief, emotional pain, anger, and sadness are all some emotions that people feel while grieving. Kubler-Ross developed a five step grieving process that one should experience and move through so they can move on to a happy life (Lecture 5 Notes). The process itself is: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance (Lecture 5 Notes). It is easy for a person to not believe that a loved one has passed on as begin the grieving process (Lecture 5 Notes).
Once the denial has processed and the loss has become a reality, it is normal to get angry and ask ‘why did this happen?’ Bargaining with God is the next step in the grieving process. Trying to make a deal with God to try and bring back a loved one gives a person hope that their loved one will come back. Once reality has set in, depression is the next step (Lecture 5 Notes). This is when the feelings of hopelessness set in, making it difficult for a person to pass this stage (Lecture 5 Notes). The last stage of the grieving process is acceptance (Lecture 5 Notes). This is the stage that helps a person emotionally move on from grieving the loss of a loved one. Life goes becomes a new type of normal with the memory of the loved one instead of the having the loved one there (Lecture 5 Notes).
In the book of Job, Satan challenges Job’s faith and love for God, with God’s permission (Study Bible-NLT, 2008). Satan does everything in his power to get Job to not only doubt God, but to curse him as well (Study Bible-NLT, 2008). Satan killed his ten children and destroyed his livestock and servants (Study Bible-NLT, 2008). Job focused more on God and praised him as he mourned loss of his children and wealth (Study Bible-NLT, 2008). Satan then tried one last time by filling Job’s body with sores (Study Bible-NLT, 2008). The doubt of his wife and the negativity of his colleagues never gave him a change of heart. Job remained faithful to God, never doubted Him (he doubted himself at times), and still praised Him (Study Bible-NLT, 2008). God eventually replenished Job’s wealth and blessed him with more children (Study Bible-NLT, 2008). Job grieved in a very healthy way. He did not blame others and he did not curse God. He tried to find the good in every bad situation.
One religion that differs from Christianity and western civilization’s way of grieving the loss of a loved one is the Islamic religion. With death and dying, Muslims believe that there is life after death (Ross, 2001). It is believed that believers of the religion must practice the five pillars of Islam and live a righteous life on earth in order to have a different afterlife than those ‘unbelievers’ (Ross, 2001). People of the Islamic religion must mourn as they prepare for a quick burial (Ross, 2001). A loved one should be buried the day of death or the day after, not any later (Ross, 2001). In public, it is not of their norm for women to show any emotion at a time like this (Ross, 2001).
Finding joy in the midst of losing a loved one can be trying. But like Job in the Bible, joy could come quicker if faith is not lost. Grieving is a challenging time to stay positive. Making the attempt to stay positive helps push one through the grieving process without getting stuck in one of the stages for too long. A good way to find joy is to continue to praise God and not to lose faith in Him.
In closing, re-reading the book of Job in the Holy Bible has reminded me of how important it is to praise God in the midst of a storm. The loss of a loved one is tragic for anyone and grieving is a natural process in life. But if the focus stays on praising God and not losing faith, that grieving process can turn into a healing process and it is possible to find peace in the midst of grieving. God always has a rainbow waiting at the end of each
storm, it just depends how long it takes for you to play in the rain before you get there.