Grieving is a condition that comes whenever a person loses his/her loved one. Different societies have different styles of grieving with religion playing a critical role in most of them. However, research indicates that almost all societies go through five stages of grieving, all of which were theorized and elaborated on by Kubler-Ross. Interestingly, different religions also have an almost similar concept and approach to grieving. This paper conducted by essayslab analyzes Kubler-Ross’s conceptualization of the grieving process alongside the Islamic and Christian religious perspective on grieving.
Bereavement refers to the universal response to death. However, families in different societies of the world react to death in different ways. Furthermore, religion plays a critical role in the grieving process. Religious groups such as the Christians and Jews have almost the same approach to the process. Islamic religion also shares some of the concepts and views related to grieving with these religions. Generally, they all have a supportive approach to mourning. Furthermore, they provide elaborate guidelines to stages of mourning.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross distinguished the five stages of grieving. This paper therefore provides a comparison between the different approaches to mourning.
Kubler Ross’s Theory
The five stages of grief include denial as the first stage. The four stages that follow are anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Denial refers to the stage where the family members refuse or find it hard to accept the news about the death of their loved ones. In the past, researchers associated it with the dying people. However, currently it concerns people who the deceased leaves behind.
Anger is the stage where a person finds an object or deity to direct his or her blame of the loss at. Counselors and psychiatrists encourage people to express their anger instead of suppressing it. Researchers have observed that anger often comes because of the suppression of open grieving by the social norms, especially religious set-up. At bargaining stage, the people involved often ask questions such as what if. They seek to find out if they could have reversed the situation. Finally, the acceptance stage sets in. Some people need long time while others take shorter times to accept the death depending on their coping ability.
Job and Grief
In our analysis of the Christian religion, we focus on the story of Job. His reaction to the loss of his children and servants depicted some level of denial. However, his speech indicated partial acceptance of the situation. Furthermore, denial tends to have little acceptance in the Christian religion. This is because of the general understanding that death is just but a rite of passage. The other stages of grief that Job went through included his own suffering. Job bargained with God in the sense that he thought that may be his deeds had not pleased God. He questioned his deeds and asked God if he had done something wrong.
Depression came when his condition worsened. At this stage, we note that the people around him ceased to comfort him. In addition, his wife makes a negative contribution by suggesting rebellion against the pillar of their faith, God. His friends also focus on finding faults in him instead of providing a shoulder to cry on and a point of assurance. This automatically plunges him into depression, a condition that he experiences for quite a long time.
Finally, at the acceptance stage, we find Job accepting the fact that his life depended on God and he would rather follow God’s will wants than his own thoughts. He saw his situation as one that only God could change. Job demonstrated this through refusing to take the tone of discouragement from both his friends and wife.
Islam and Grieving
Islam agrees with Christianity and Judaism that Allah, or God in the Christian context, allows suffering. Muslims also believe that man’s strength to go through such circumstances and situations comes from Allah. Friends of the family of the deceased are, therefore, expected to offer comfort to the family. Furthermore, the religion recognizes three official days of mourning. This means that Islam also recognizes that mourning is part of grief and grieving. Furthermore, the story of Job also exists in the Muslim Hadiths thus indicating little or no difference with the concept expressed in Christianity and Judaism.
The Relationship between Joy, Grief, and Grieving
The term joy is rarely mentioned in such moments. However, the sole function or purpose of comforting a grieving person is to restore their joy. This might prove quite a hard task given that the person has lost a precious part of their life. However, both Christianity and Islam view death as a pathway to joy. The comforters often use scriptures to encourage the grieving parties with the message that the person has only passed to glory, a more joyful place than the sorrows of the earth. This means that they should not mourn but rejoice because the dead person is not lost and they will meet on the other side of life.
Christianity and Judaism teach people not to mourn like those who have no hope but like people who know that death is a pathway to paradise. Joy often comes at the acceptance stage mostly because of the presence of a supportive group of people or even an individual. Others derive the joy from their religious beliefs that the person is still present in spirit. Others rejoice in their belief that they will meet again. Regardless of the cause of the joy, most societies view it as an indication of recovery from the mourning.
My own approach to handling grief follows the Kubler-Ross model. Furthermore, I base it on my religious belief. I am convinced that the process of recovering from grief involves different stages. Undergoing the process enables one to recover and, therefore, helps to avoid trauma. This research has changed my view on how to handle Muslims undergoing this kind of a situation. Initially, I believed that they had a very different approach. We can, therefore, conclude that grief and grieving almost has a universal approach.