We’ve Been Misled About How To Grieve
This is what Nicholas Kohler says in his article in Maclean’s magazine on Feb 21st. He says that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross interviewed a handful of dying patients in Chicago in the mid-60″s and then wrote a book called “On Death and Dying”, which the world has accepted as the definitive work on grief. The only problem is that the analysis was backed by no solid research. Based on her work, the grief industry has established conventions for grief based on a theory that grief is a “journey” that we all must “work” through, otherwise we have not grieved properly. It promotes grief as a long and debilitating process with five steps; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. Ruth Davis Konigsberg, in her new book “The Truth About Grief: The Myth of Its Five Stages and the New Science of Loss” argues that adherence to the model does more harm than good and has actually lengthened the expected duration of grief and made us more judgmental of those who stray from the designated path. She says the grief culture has stigmatized the more common response of resilience and strength branding it as “cold” and even “pathalogical.” In fact it is possible that a lot of the grief work just makes it fester by retelling it and Kohler says “All that vocalizing may be just the trouble.” Some studies show grief can be aggravated by chit-chat.
In the article called “Grief and Mourning” on my website: lovehealstv.com you will see that I have made a similar discovery. With my clients I have learned that there is a way of dealing with grief that takes much less time and seems much more effective than Kubler-Ross’s five steps. In this approach, a believer invites Jesus into the pain and literally asks Jesus to take the pain away. When the pain is gone, the person can then remember the one who has passed with joy and is able to celebrate the person’s life as a good memory. I believe Jesus wants us to live life abundantly and not in anger and depression. No doubt some people still have issues that may still need to be worked through after a person dies. But in my opinion, living in pain isn’t one of them. I had one client who had been grieving the death of a close relative for 51 years. After one hour of Christ-Centered counselling, where he invited Jesus into the memory and asked Jesus to take the pain away, he was free of pain. The client was able to think of and remember the relative in a positive and happy way. I think Jesus wants to help us in our grieving and that his love, truth and help is just what we need when we grieve. Try it for yourself and see what Jesus will do for you. Then you can assess if Kubler-Ross’s five steps is the only way do deal with grief.
In Isaiah 61, it says, “He [Father God}has sent me [Jesus] to bind up the brokenhearted, to comfort all who mourn, to bestow the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”