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Healthy Grief - Essay Example

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Abstract According to Kubler-Ross (2005), individuals who are dying or have lost somebody go through five stages of grief – denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance. The story of Job illustrates some of these concepts. Moreover, nurses must also be aware of these concepts, so that they can help others through the grieving process, as well as help themselves when faced with difficult situations…
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Healthy Grief Essay
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Healthy Grief

The first stage is denial. Kubler-Ross explains that, in this stage, the person who is dying or the person is about to lose somebody, or has lost somebody, denies that there is anything wrong. A dying person might, for instance, go about his or her business and deny that he or she has a terminal illness. The person who has lost a loved one has symbolic denial – the person cannot believe that the lost individual will not just walk through the door at any moment. Alternatively, the individual might tell him or herself that the lost individual is away on a trip. Kubler-Ross explains that when an individual is in denial of a death of a loved one that the individual feels a numbness or might be paralyzed with shock (Kubler-Ross, 2005). Kubler-Ross (2005) tells the story of Alicia, who lost her husband on a business trip. Alicia could just not believe that it occurred, and felt that the phone call regarding her husband’s death had to have been a dream. Alicia also felt that when the body arrived to be buried that it would not be him, and did not believe that the body was his until she saw his wedding ring. Another example of this would be Claudia in the book Love You Mean It (Carrington et al., 2006). Claudia lost her husband on 9/11, and, as she explained, even though in the beginning days the situation seemed grim, in that her husband did not return from work, Claudia was convinced that her husband was somewhere in the city with amnesia. She stated that when friends and family began to gather at her house that nobody was welcomed in the door unless they believed that her husband was alive. Anger is the next step in the process, and Kubler-Ross (2005) explains that anger may not be rational. The individual might be angry with the loved one for not taking better care of him or herself. Or, the person might be angry about being left behind. Kubler-Ross (2005) explains that anger is the first emotion that one feels after the denial has abated. Very often the sense of anger comes from a sense of unfairness – “I did everything right, how can I have this disease?” Bargaining is next, and this is where the person makes promises to God, and then, after the person is dead, the person relives the death and tries to change the event in his or her mind. Depression comes after this, and this when the individual feels empty and has problems going through daily activities. Acceptance is the last stage, and this is when the person realizes the new reality about their lives without their loved one. Discussion In relating Kubler-Ross’ grief stages to Job’s suffering, it is clear that Job did not go through the grief stages. Even though Job had all of his possessions destroyed, and all of his children were killed, Job did not experience anger. The largest part of the story is that Job did not curse God, and these tragedies were his test as to whether he would turn against God. If Job would have cursed God, then this would be Job displaying anger. As for acceptance, Job appeared to accept his calamities, for he lived his life with equanimity and, even though his wife and his friends attempted to turn him away from God, Job was resolute. He knew that God had a larger plan for him, so he was able to accept what happened to him. It could be argued that Job experienced denial, in that he believed, against all evidence to the contrary, ... Read More
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