Healthy grief

Grief is an emotional suffering that someone is feeling when someone or something is taking away. (Wikipedia) Elizabeth Kubler-Ross introduced the five stages of grief based on patients facing terminal illness. These steps are typical, but everyone doesn’t go through each stage. You don’t go through the stages in order and they should know that it is normal. The mindset of the individual will depend on the severity of grief they may go through. Grief can last from days to years and the person isn’t aware of this. They may restart their grieving process on holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries or when a special day arrives.

Some people take’s the loss as a remembrance, but others take it as sorrow because their loved ones are gone which I think makes a person to go through the grieving process again. Coping with loss has been called” a spiritual process that includes locating our loved ones in time, place and transporting our recreated experiences to the here and now” (Angell Dennis & Dumain, 1998) Kubler- Ross grief process in the book of Job when God let Satan afflict Job to prove Job’s loyal to him. God presented Job as a virtue. Kubler-Ross stages are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

Job’s family, cattle and property was taken away from him. When Job didn’t succumb to these tragedies “The HEALTHY GRIEF Lord gave and the Lord has taken away”. God let Satan afflict Job again, this time Satan afflicted Job’s health. He started to have sores on his entire body that was very painful. With this tragedy Job started to go through the Kubler-Ross grieving process. Job prays and stated he doesn’t know why this is happening to him and why is god persecuting him. Job friends blamed him for the suffering because he had sinned and god. Job started questioning and challenging god.

Job became depressed because his condition was deteriorating. Job wanted someone to talk for him to relieve him of his suffering. Job’s grieving went back and forth with God. When God confronts God and cross examines him, Job realized that he had misconceptions regarding God’s ability. Job does believe in God and had to go through the suffering to understand how great God is. God restored all that he had taken from Job plus some. God gave him double for the trouble. Grief of the Chinese religion is different because they don’t talk about their grief to anyone because it is considered to be unhealthy.

Touching the loved one’s body is a sign of goodwill. The eldest grandson has to deliver the message to the other family members of the passing loved one in person out of respect. They are not allowed to speak about the death or the funeral. The Eldest son is the only one that is able to mourn and this has to be done for 72 days and not allowed to wear red or get married for 6 months. The eldest son has to take responsibility of caring for the family and has to mourn by crying out and solemn in front of people, which is expected of him.

The son has to live close to the grave site for 3 years. In the Chinese culture if a person dies by suicide the family will not touch the body because it is considered bad luck. They burn paper as a sign of providing material goods for that person. They place the deceased name on the paper so that person will receive the items. The Chinese feels eternity is passed through the sons in their family. Joy and grief goes hand in hand when it pertains to a person’s loss. When people grieve, they go through the grief stages, but when they remember the good times about that person there is joy.

Through my research Nancy Bern a sociology professor spoke with a gentleman named Tim and explained that grief is like if you had your heart ripped out, it will hurt and hurt a lot and it will scab over and the pain will feel less. But if you knock off the scab it will hurt as it did the first time. It will hurt on those special moments or milestones HEALTHY GRIEF , but we still love them even as we bring new milestones in our life. Gratefulness and joy can be found in grief. My research hasn’t changed my views on grief.

I still feel that it is the mindset of the individual and the relationship that person had with their loved ones. When we (Baptist/Christians) we celebrate the person that has passed as a “homegoing”. We sing, dance, eat and reminisce the life of that person. We are not afraid to talk about that person. As I discussed previously, When my brother (39) passed in 2005 it was difficult at first, when we had his homegoing it accepted it because my brother was very ill at that time. I don’t know how I would feel if a loved one passes unexpectedly, but my family and I would celebrate it the same way.

A popular song of the African American that is sung at most homegoings is Boys to Men “It so hard to say good bye to yesterday”, But it is such a fitting song for the occasion. My other brother (his twin) sang this song at his homegoing. It was hard to say goodbye because we were very close. There were 5 of us, 3 girls and 2 boys but my twin brothers and me and my twin sister were the closest. To this day we still talk and remember our brother Bookie (nickname) like he never passed and still with us. I don’t feel like it is grieving, it is remembering a good soul and an awesome, awesome brother.