GRIEF AND LOSS 1
A process of grief and suffering accompanies death and loss. The lossof a loved one results in family instability. Before achievingequilibrium, the loved ones have to go through a particularsequential process. The five common stages of grief include denialand isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance(Klass et al., 2014). Although the stages may not occur sequentiallyin all individuals, they are pertinent in most cases of grief. Mr.Walterstorff lost his son Eric through a tragic accident whileclimbing a mountain. His narrative depicts the five stages of grief.At the end of the composition, he accepts his son’s fate anddiscovers that he would not return home.
Mr. Walterstorff describes his son as being sharp from childhood. Hewas particularly gifted in math and sciences. However, his love fornature led him to pursue art where he exhibited prowess in modelling.He was also adventurous and willing to stretch his capacity beyondthe expectations of many. His passion for escapades resulted in hisdeath after suffering a fatal fall in the Uber Alles.
The news of his son’s death hit Wolterstorff with the pain of afather, and he did not accept the situation immediately. Wolterstorfffelt a cold burning pain and a feeling of acquiesce. He did notunderstand why one of his talented sons could encounter such anunfortunate end to his life. He was in a state of denial andisolation (Klass et al., 2014). The narrative of Eric’s gifted lifedepicts a mind that has wandered in isolation. However, it helped himto appreciate the role that Eric played in their lives.
Secondly, Mr. Walterstorff expresses anger towards his son’s death.According to him, the demise was a result of the things he loved todo. His adventurous and daring character led him to try out perilousactivities. However, Wolterstorff did not consider the activities asunsafe before Eric’s death. He recalls the accolades of Eric’slandlady, who hailed him for his love for hiking. According toWolterstorff, Eric’s love was his death. When angered, humansredirect the cause of grief to factors that they believe werepreventable (Carney, 2016). Family members may also be disappointedwith the dead person for not having prevented the misfortune. WhenEric’s father considers his son’s love for adventure as the causeof his death, he is angry at his behavior.He could have been a little bit docile to avoid treading intodangerous places.
Wolterstorff also feels remorseful for the poor appreciation that hisfamily had for each other. In a state of bargaining, he explains howthey all took him for granted. If only Eric could come back to life,the family would change its attitude towards him. He is alsodepressed because he believes that Eric did not receive enoughattention from the family. He believes that the members of his familydo not treasure each other.
Finally, Mr. Walterstorff accepts the situation. In the last stage ofgrief, individuals realize that they cannot alter the situation(Nolen-Hoeksema et al., 2013). Wolterstorff wished he would see hisson again and express his love. He finds joy in his grief afterrealizing how his son influenced other people’s lives. He receivedmany letters from various people appreciating his son. He realizedhow great his son was in the 25 years he lived. Therefore, his lifewas fulfilling, and Wolterstorff derived joy from the knowledge.
As a young boy, Eric was inquisitive about the nature and existenceof God. As a believer, Wolterstorff believes in resurrection.Christianity gives a new meaning and significance to death. Thereligion teaches that death is not an end to human life. On thecontrary, it is the journey to another everlasting life in God’sdwelling place. Those who believe in God through his son Jesus Christwill share in the resurrection of Christ and ascend to the father.The book of 2 Timothy 2:10 outlines that “But it has now beenrevealed through the appearance of our Savoir, Christ Jesus, who hasdestroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light throughthe gospel." The knowledge that Eric will resurrect contributesto Wolterstorff consolation. Christians believe that after theresurrection, they will meet each other in Heaven. Wolterstorffbelieves that he will embrace his son again after resurrection.
In conclusion, grief and sorrow manifest in various stages.Individuals propagate through the stages of denial, anger,bargaining, depression and acceptance (Klass et al., 2014). Thestages may not occur in a definite sequence, and they may overlap.Wolterstorff goes through these stages after the demise of his son.He believes that Eric’s love for adventure was the cause of hisdeath. After denial and anger, Wolterstorff finds joy eventuallyafter realizing that his son had impacted other people lives. Inaddition, as a Christian, he believes that death was not an end tohis son’s life. He would meet him again after resurrection.
Carney, K. K. (2016). The five stages of grief:Coming to terms with the new sick leave regulations. Journalof the California Dental Association,44(3),149-150.
Klass, D., Silverman, P. R., & Nickman, S.(2014). Continuing bonds: Newunderstandings of grief. New York N.Y.:Taylor & Francis.
Nolen-Hoeksema, S., Larson, J., & Larson, J.M. (2013). Coping with loss.New York N.Y.: Routledge.