Stages of Grief Analysis of Lament for a Son essay


Stagesof Grief Analysis of Lament for a Son

Wolterstorff’sReflection in Lament for a Son

InLamentfor a Son,Wolterstorff is going through the grief process since he tries todeal with the premature death of his son, Eric, which occurred whenhe was climbing a mountain (Wolterstorff, 1987). The author developsstories relating to Eric’s life as well as his death so as todevelop an encouraging story of how individuals can overcame griefthrough religious intervention. Through the narrator’s story, otherindividuals are in a position to handle grief since they can getmotivation and apply religion’s comfort just like Wolterstorff.Therefore, from the Lamentfor a Son,inspiration of individuals that undergo the process of grief can beindicated as a critical reflection. It is clearly exposed in theLamentfor a Sonthat grief is an inevitable process in the lives of individuals. Incase it was avoidable, even the father could not have gone throughgrief, but as it is indicated in the book, it is not avoidable.However, there is hope for the grieving that comes from religion. Forinstance, from the Bible, the Lord indicates that He will comfort Hispeople (Psalms 23). This is also depicted through Job’s sufferingand being comforted in the book of Job.

Kubler-RossFive Stages Of Grief

Denialand Isolation Stage

Accordingto Axelrod (2016), the initial reaction when one learns of a terminalillness or death of a loved person, is to deny the situation. In thisstage, the bereaved people tend to run away from the reality thatdeath has deprived them their loved ones. People think that they arein dreamland and assume death has not taken away their close friends.They keep on hoping for good news to come on their way. This isclearly demonstrated by Wolterstorff when he questions about thestate of his son’s death if he never climbed the mountain(Wolterstorff, 1987). This shows openly that Wolterstorff is in greatdenial about his son’s death.


Inthis stage, individuals start showing the wearing off effects ofdenial and isolation (Axelrod, 2016). This is the stage in whichpeople have to accept the truth concerning the death of their closefriends. They have to accept that the loss is real however, theytend to be bitter with the dead or other people. Also, in some cases,the bereaved are angered by objects (Axelrod, 2016). In the case,Wolterstorff’s is angry with his son for going for mountainclimbing where he encountered his death. Moreover, Wolterstorff isangry with himself for failing to bid goodbye to his son(Wolterstorff, 1987).


Thisis an inquisitive stage where the bereaved keep on questioningthemselves “what if?” People tend to wish that there could havebeen an alternative route instead of what happened. Wolterstorffthinks that the pain he was going through could have been lesser ifthe death of his son was not sudden but rather through sickness sothat he could have time to say goodbye to his son (Wolterstorff,1987).


Thisis the stage in which people come to accept that nothing can be doneto reverse the death of their loved ones. Some people withdraw fromthe society while others cry throughout as a way of dealing with thepain caused by the loss their loved ones. Wolterstorff does a lot ofcrying while blaming himself for not protecting his son from dying(Wolterstorff, 1987).


Inthis stage, people have already come to terms with the loss of theirloved ones and accepted the reality that death has already occurred.People look for ways to cope up with the loss and move on with life(Axelrod, 2016). However, no happiness is guaranteed in this stage.In the Wolterscorff’s case, he opens his heart to the family abouthis son’s death and urges them to continue living as if he wasalive.

HowWolterstorff finds joy after his loss

Wolterstorfffinds joy solely from religion. He believes that religion brings hopeto the suffering individuals. Furthermore, his most joy comes fromthe fact he expects to meet his son during the resurrection. Also, hebelieves in getting consolation from Jesus Christ as Jesus promisedto console mourners (Wolterstorff, 1987).

Themeaning and significance of death in light of the Christian narrative

Deathto Christians is not something to worry about, but it is consideredto be the way through which Christians leave their earthly lives intoeternal lives. In this case, the soul leaves the body and goes toheaven where it is given another body that is immortal.

Howthe hope of resurrection plays a role in comforting Wolterstorff

Throughthe resurrection, Wolterstorff was very hopeful of getting to see hisson once again (Wolterstorff, 1987). Since Wolterstorff was guilty ofletting down his son, the hope of resurrection assures him of gettinganother chance to apologize to his son for not protecting him frommeeting his unanticipated death.


Axelrod,J. (2016). The 5 Stages of Loss &amp Grief. PsychCentral.Retrieved on June 11, 2016, from


Wolterstorff,N. (1987). Lamentfor a Son.Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans.