What to expect on a journey of grief


In the 1970s Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’ grief research1 exploded on the grief scene with her “stages” theory. Her excellent work was actually directed toward those facing a terminal disease and their journey of dying – not particularly for the griever. This has led to some misunderstandings on the grief journey for many and made it more difficult to individualize the experience. Recent grief research has moved beyond the stage theory for grievers and incorporated a more holistic approach to this complex and difficult field.

While there seem to be no set stages in grief, there are often common responses we may deal with. We typically experience concentration issues, along with numbness, sleeping problems, eating and emotional issues, mental and physical concerns. Grief tends to come in waves, not stages. Normally, there are not time frames to predict or other absolutes that forecast your journey. The grief journey is an individual walk, best traveled among your God, fellow grievers, family and friends.

I’ve found that the grief journey involves four dynamic areas:

  1. Resolution of emotional issues with our loved ones that may interfere with the normal grieving process.

  2. Finding a compassionate, concerned and loving God in the grieving process and developing a new and different relationship with him.

  3. Entering into an “enduring relationship” with your loved one.

  4. An ability to assist others with grief and loss issues.

An excerpt from Tim's new book on the Journey of Grief: Finding Peace & Solace on Your Time of Pain.

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