Death and Denying Book by Elizabeth Kubler Ross

In her book On Death and Denying, (1969) attempted to elaborate the process through which dying people undergo as they come to terms with the reality of eventual death. Using a , Kubler-Ross developed one of the most studied formulations of grief.

Using Kubler-Rosss grieving model, it is worth analyzing the biblical story of Job, which provides evidence that people do not necessarily pass through all the five stages. In addition, it is not necessary to follow Kubler-Rosss order of events. Nevertheless, it is evident that grieving humans undergo some stages as described by Kubler-Ross.

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According to Kubler-Ross (1969), the stage of denial is the first in the grieving process. In this stage, individuals are unable to accept the fact that they have experienced loss. The author argues that grieving individuals are unable to accept this loss. Instead, they feel that the loss is unreal or is caused by a bad dream. Thus, they keep expecting that things will return to normal (Kubler-Ross & Kessler, 2006). According to the Bible, Job is described as a wise and righteous man who believes in God. He recognizes that everything comes from God, including children, wealth and a good state of health. According to the Bible, Job says, shall we not accept the good things that God does and adversities? This is an indication that Job accepted the fact that he had lost everything. He was aware that his loss was real and thought that it was Gods will to harm him. This is an indication that Job does not undergo the denial stage of grieving described in Kubler-Rosss model. Nevertheless, Job hopes that God will restore everything because he has the power to do so. In this case, Job believes that his experience will soon be over, which is representative of the kind of hope that grieving people experience.

According to Kubler-Ross (1969), grieving people come to a point that they recognize that their denial cannot continue. Rather than accepting the situation, they tend to experience anger, which is normally characterized with such questions as why me? or who is to blame? The individuals tend to be angry with themselves as well as those close to them. In the biblical story of Job, evidence of Jobs anger is relatively scarce in the text (Berger, 2008). For instance, he accepts that God causes the adversaries affecting him at His (Gods) own will. Instead of being angry with God (his wife pursuers him to curse God and die), Job continues to praise him. In fact, even after the three friends come to speak to him, he seems to be content with Gods work, which displays his obedience and lack of anger.

Nevertheless, Job wishes to be dead and escape the impact of his miseries. He said that he was tired of living and would rather die. From Kubler-Ross Model, it is clear that Job experienced Bargaining stage of grieving. Job knows that there is an option (through death) to escape his miseries. However, he believes that it is the will of God to kill him and save him from the adversaries. It is also worth noting that Job has a chance to bargain with Satan by cursing God and dying, as suggested by his nagging wife. However, Job chooses not to deal with Satan. Instead, he opts to take everything to God- an indication that he does not bargain.

The stage of depression, according to Kubler-Ross, provides evidence that the person has begun to accept reality. Also known as preparatory grieving, the stage involves acceptance with emotional attachment characterized with sadness, fear, regret and uncertainty. However, the book of Job does not provide evidence of Jobs depression. Despite God sending the three friends to console Job, it appears that Job was more vibrant and active in the discussion about humanity and the role of God than his friends. For instance, God finally rebuked the three friends for lack of wisdom, but upheld Job and the young man Elihu for their wisdom and active role in explaining why God gives good things as well as adversaries.

According to Kubler-Ross, grieving people tend to accept the fact that a loss has occurred and cannot return to normal. For dying individuals, they accept that their final stage is death, prompting them to plan for their daily lives. In the story of Job, it is interesting to note that despite not undergoing other stages, Job had accepted his fate soon after the onset of the adversaries. He was aware that he had suffered humiliating losses, including the death of his children, workers and livestock. He accepted that God was behind this, but continued to trust him and walk in his ways, hoping that things would be normal.

The state of Joy is evident in the book of Job. Besides the abiding joy and Jobs relationship with God, Job declares his hope in resurrection, believing that he will see the face of God and get joy in his grace. In fact, this is an example of the type of joy that Job hopes to gain once the adversaries are over.

Healthy grieving seems to be an important way of handling grief. Jobs attachment to a religious power (God) made him escape the first four stages of grief. In fact, by evading the first three stages, one would handle grief with ease and remain composed throughout the process. I realize that Jobs ability to accept his adversaries prior to other stages in Kubler-Rosss model is an important aspect in nursing, especially in cases of terminal diseases such as cancer.

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