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Grief is the response that people exhibit towards loss. It is normally a painful and unhappy emotion. Grief normally is a reaction that results from something that a person had strongly bonded with. In the search of his misery, Job in the Bible called his predicament a divine punishment. The manner in which Job reacted to the loss he underwent demonstrated him as an honest believer. The search for truth by Job in the grieving process pleases God and his pursuit for righteousness is noble and just. Consequently, Job was confident that he could not weigh the deeds of God based on his ignorance of the large picture. Through suffering events are generated that are binding to the plot and can be compared to mourning stages that people go through at a time in life. Job went through a series of stages comparable to Kubler-Ross' grieving process and the stages of grief in response to the loss he realized.
The five stages in the grieving process according to Kubler-Ross are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance (Kübler-Ross, 2005). Being the first step, denial is characteristic of the tussle of refusal to accept the encounter. It is hard for the person to accept the situation because he was very much attached to the things that have been lost. This is a mechanism through which the victims of loss cope in the first days of the loss. Despite the reports that Job got concerning the loss of his children and property, he really did not want to accept that he had actually lost them. He still believed that there was a way he could deal with the happenings and get back his possession. The denial of these bad occurrences allowed Job to cope with the immediate situations at hand like informing friends. Denial could make somebody numb. Persistent denial is not healthy but it helps a person to move forward after the occurrence (Kübler-Ross, 2005). Well, Job’s case was in a way different as he challenged his friends concerning his fortunes and he was apparently stronger in handling the situation since his denial was held with a lot of optimism.
The second stage of the grieving process is anger. After denial fades away, anger takes over. According to Kubler-Ross model, it is typical to put the blame on other people during the anger stage. There is usually a lot of anger and rage for other people and somebody may really want to know why the things happened to them. While the outward reaction encountered by the people around is anger, there is some pain that is buried underneath (Kübler-Ross, 2005). It is however important not to try to suppress the anger. Expressing anger openly slowly dissipates and gives way to the inner pain in the person. Job said, ‘Job 3:3 let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, there is a man child conceived’ (King James Version Bible). However, Job in the Bible turned his anger to the devil. His strong belief in God changed the whole perception of the scenario. He was angry with his friends and wife for the position they held concerning his predicaments. He needed them to re-affirm his view on the situation that God was in control. His anger flared up and upon request by his wife to curse God and die, he replied to her that she had just spoken like one of the foolish women. It is true that Job got angry but his case was different in the sense to the way the anger was directed.
The third stage is the bargaining stage. This stage can take on different forms. Like Job, a person may strike a deal with God to get back all that has been lost. Other people may promise anything just to recover the loss. There are common tales at this stage of ‘If only….’ and ‘What if…’ as a solution is being sought to get things back to the manner in which they were initially (Kübler-Ross, 2005). Job does not really waver in his stand. He confidently says that he will still see God even after his outward nature has been utterly destroyed. The only way through which Job could get back the lost things was by sticking with God. This answered his question of ‘If only….’ and ‘What if…’ if only Job stuck with God and that is what he exactly did.
After the bargaining stage, depression follows. The depression stage is believed to take months or even years while in it. The depression duration cannot really be determined (Kübler-Ross, 2005). People begin to feel a vacuum in their lives as a result of the loss that has been experienced. On some occasion, the victim may start to withdraw from the family and friends and may feel overpowered with the hope of effectively managing grief. Job actually withdrew from his family and friends who had come to encourage him. Apparently, it appears that it was the only way he could deal with his grief. Actually, he managed because there was a lot of depression and more so at an instance where the friends and his wife were not supportive of his perception concerning the difficulty situation that had befallen him.
After depression, there comes a point of acceptance. The person gets to realize that the loss is real and is indeed part of life (Kübler-Ross, 2005). However, this does not mean that the person is okay with the loss encountered. It is a point at which a person accepts the new norm and makes an effort to rediscover happiness. In the acceptance stage, the person starts to rebuild their life based on the fact that, even though such important things are no longer there, they will be in the mind and heart forever. For Job, he accepts the situation and says that he was born without anything and he will return to his maker without anything. He says, “Job 5:7 yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward” (King James Version Bible). This actually is the last stage and Job expresses that acceptance in this verse.
For Muslims, this verse (ayah), ‘Muhammad is but a messenger; there have been prophets before him, and they all died. Will you now turn back?’ (Aal `Imran 3:144) helps them in dealing with grief (Coping with Death and Grief in Islam, 2006). It helps Muslims to finally accept the loss after undergoing denial, anger, bargaining and depression. My preferred method of handling grief is embodied on true religion that seeks to empower people to take charge of their lives and accept responsibility in a way that has discipline. This is meant to reduce guilt and set wise procedures of dealing with grief in motion. This research has indeed changed my view of grief in that it has got nothing to do with other people in the long run. It has taught me how to have healthy grief and effectively manage it because it is something that will certainly come at some point in life.