Discuss Woterstorff’s reflctions in Lament For a Son. In addition,
address Kubler-Ross five stages of grief, as they are expressed throughout Lament for a Son, and Responce
Grief is an individual response to loss; as such it is associated with psychological, behavioral,
physical, spiritual and social dimensions. Kubler-Ross, (1969) states that for a person to heal after losing
a loved one, a relationship and so forth they should go through the grieving process before leading an
ordinary life. The essay will analyze Kubler-Ross’s Five Stages of Grief and how they are depicted in
Lament for a Son. In addition, the papers how Wolterstorff find joy after losing his son while
demonstrating the importance of death regarding Christian narrative. In the end, the paper will review
how the hope of resurrection plays an important in comforting Wolterstorff. Kubler-Ross demonstrates
that during particular period individuals grieve over losing a loved one or something important in their
lives. In most cases, individuals deny grief is averting to pain. However it is healthier to accept the loss in
the grieving process. This process is a sequence of five stages including denial, anger, negotiation,
bargaining, depression, and acceptance (Kubler-Ross, 1969). These steps help an individual to not only
accept but also continue with life after the loss. It is vital to keep in mind that not everybody goes through
these steps at same speed. While some will move back and forth, others will skip a stage as they accept
the reality. Currently, the grief stage is a two-fold framework. The first one revolves around loss and the
second one on progression.
Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief, as they are expressed throughout Lament for a Son
Wolterstorff demonstrates Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief in his book ‘Lament for a Son’. He
also narrates the harrowing account of losing his son in an accident and how he reconciled the grief by
believing in God. The author’s narration of events and mourning is honest as effectively depicted. Denial
is unconsciously or consciously refusing to recognize the loss. During this stage, the affected may think it
is a bad dream and end once he wakes up. Wolterstorff’s denial of losing his son seems short-lived and
fleeting owing to the sudden death of his son. The other framework describes the way in which he was
told about the death of his son and denial in writing. For a short period, he extended his arms giving his
son to someone. He felt a burning pain (Wolterstorff, 1987).
Anger is demonstrated in the book, the way the author questions the action of
his son. “Why did he climb the mountain”? “Why did he climb the mountain alone”? (Wolterstorff, 1987).
He thinks about the future of his son and alleges that “all that might have been, and now will never be”
(Wolterstorff, 1987). The bargaining stage is where an individual tries to negotiate with God to change
the conduction/loss. In the book, Bargaining is demonstrated by Wolterstorff’s faith in God and pledges
to end deal with his pain through resurrection. Bargaining cannot change the condition; a person may be
depressed. When it evident that anger and bargaining cannot change the
situation, an individual can be depressed at this stage, an individual may withdraw from activities since he
has less joy. In “Lament for a Son” Wolterstorff depicts depression in some ways. When it comes to
acceptance the final stage of grief, the victim accepts that loss and this the time he recognizes that there is
nothing that can change the condition. Moreover, the victims continue his normal life, participates in
regular activities and other things. In this book, acceptance is demonstrated by the way the author believes
in ending his pain through resurrection.
How does Wolterstorff find joy after his loss?
In the midst of loss, individuals experience joy, but for some people grieving process takes a long
period, there is likelihood to find comfort. Finding joy does not imply that the pain is over. Instead it is
reduced. Wolterstorff develops skills such their happy moments, which helps him to experience joy
following the death of his son. Moreover, he integrates these skills with the loss of his son. He remembers
his happy times with his son, which not only keeps his living but also ensures that there is a joy.
What is the meaning and significance of death in light of the Christian narrative?
According to Christian narratives when a person dies, they go to heaven, to be with God. Also,
every human will eventually die at some point; nevertheless, no one knows the day or time. In
Christianity, death is one of the stages of life. In the midst of loss, individuals can find joy, those who die
and those left behind. Those left find joy by recognizing that their loved ones are not in pain rather with
How does the hope of the resurrection play a role in comforting Wolterstorff?
Wolterstorff’s loss of a son meant everything to him. Apart from being crushed emotionally, he
should never lose courage and self-confidence that his relationship with his parents does not end in the
grave. As a staunch believer that had lost a child, Wolterstorff should take heart in the assurance of a
reunion in heaven. The Bible promise that believers will be transformed in the spur of the moment, they
will shackle off mortal bodies and assume immortality at the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:42–44; John
11:25). Again, as a believer, Wolterstorff should understand that crucifixion, death, and resurrection of
Christ were symbolically an issue of conquering death in real life.
For non-believers, losing a loved one is associated with despair. On the other hand, for
those with little faith, losing a loved one is the end of life. There is no hope in the resurrection, neither is
there new heaven or earth. However, Wolterstorff was a faithful believer in God. Beyond this, God
comforts the grieving and heals the heartbroken (2 Corinthians 1:3–4; 7:6). When someone loses a loved
one God is fast to given them hope and peace. In the midst of sorrow, they can feel God’s presence, this is
time Wolterstorff. The loss of a son is extremely painful. God comforts Christians during grieving
process because He understands their suffering, pain and eager to give then peace.
The paper has reviews at Wolterstorff’s pain based on the Kubler-Ross grieving stages and
Christian narrative. The loss is an inevitable element of life while grief is a component of healing as
demonstrated in “Lament for a Son” by Wolterstorff’. Kubler-Ross grieving model is a device to help
people continue a normal life after losing a loved one.
Roos, S. (2012). The Kubler-Ross Model: An Esteemed Relic. Gestalt Review, 16(3), 312-315.