Healthy Grief Essay
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Grief is an inner sense of loss, feeling of emptiness and sadness every human being experience at some point of life and each person feels and handles it differently. But there are some common stages of grief which starts from recognizing a loss to the final acceptance. It is not necessary that grief should occur after the death of a beloved one. Grief is the multifaceted response to death and losses of all kinds, including emotional (affective), psychological (cognitive and behavioral), social, and physical reactions (Stroebe, Hansson, Stroebe, & Schut, 2001).
Grief is a healthy response to a loss, which should not be prevented. But grief lasting more than two months and is severe enough to interfere with daily life may be a sign of complicated grief and more serious illness such as major depression (grief-mourning, grieving and bereavement, 2012) which has to be treated. Kubler- Ross developed the five stages of grieving process which include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It is not necessary that everybody will go through all these stages in the same order.
Knowing all these stages will help us to cope with the loss.
Here in this paper the writer tries to compare and contrast the grieving process defined by Kubler – Ross with that of the grieving process of Job in the Bible, and tries to relate the findings with that of the writer’s own preferred method of handling grief and see whether this research has changes the view of grief. According to the Bible, Job was an obedient, god-fearing man, who was blessed with wealth, health and wisdom. One day Job lost all his wealth, health and possessions, including his children. In addition to that Job had developed very bad sores all over his body.
This all was because God was challenging the Satan with Job’s faith and obedience. But finally Satan failed. Even after all those terrible loss happened in his life, Job never turned against God, but he turned towards Him and worshiped Him saying, “Naked I came out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. Yahweh gave, and Yahweh has taken away. Blessed be Yahweh’s name” (Job 1:22). While comparing Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief with that of Job’s story, the first stage would have been denial which helps to survive the loss.
But there was no biblical narration that says Job use denial as a part of his grieving process. Instead he was asking his wife, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept trouble? ”(Job 2:10). In stage two, when all these losses occurred one would usually get angry towards self, others, or towards God. Here Job neither got angry towards others or the God, but he got angry toward himself and cursed the day he was born. The third stage is the stage of bargaining, where someone bargains to get the life back as it was before.
Job did not go to that stage even after his wife tells him to “renounce God and die”. In the fourth stage or the stage of depression Job did withdrew from his life and it is evidenced in the chapter 2: 11, 12 that he was sitting in the ashes for seven days and nights since his grief was so great and he was not even talking to his three friends who were sitting with him for those seven days and nights. In the final stage of acceptance, one usually accepts the loss. Here in Job’s example he was accepting whatever God has given him without questioning. He didn’t say any words against Him.
He believed that the God does have a plan and He will do the right thing. Once Satan got failed Job was provided with all his wealth and health in double and he was blessed with ten children and lived a long life. The five stages of grief are not definite for each person and it does not occur as a linear fashion in everybody’s life. For example some people may get angry first then acceptance and depression. It depends on each persons living circumstances. it is different for each person.
The same way grief can occur in a caregiver’s life too, especially during end-stage care. t is necessary to identify the signs and integrate these normal response to life Grief is not only about pain. Even in grief it can be mixed with joy. In an uncomplicated grief process, painful experiences are intermingled with positive feelings, such as relief, joy, peace, and happiness that emerge after the loss of an important person (Zisook &Shear 2009). Frequently, these positive feelings elicit negative emotions of disloyalty and guilt in the bereaved. The writer considers healthy grief as a normal response and it will help to ease the stress and people show it differently.
But any signs of prolonged grief should be taken care of seriously and get the support needed. Nurses’ grief resulting from the death of a patient is different from the grief experienced by the family. It may be hard to remain strong for the patient and family, while at the same time compartmentalizing the pain they feel for the loss of relationship with the patient and family. in the article, “creating a curtain of protection: nurses’ experiences of grief following patient death”, the authors says that nurses’ coping response incorporate spiritual worldview and caring rituals and nurses reate a curtain of protection to mitigate the grieving process and allow them to continue to provide supportive nursing care.
In conclusion healthy grief is a normal response to a death or loss and knowing the different stages of grief will help to cope with the loss. The different stages occur differently for each person. Knowing the stages of grief will help the caregivers also to identify the signs of grief and help to cope with that. In a healthcare environment, the nurses have to be strong enough to support the patient and family and should be able to compartmentalize the pain they feel for the patient and family.