The Six Stages of Grief

➡ Average Reading Time: 2 minutesLife must continue for individuals who remain when a loved one dies. There are many adjustments which must occur. Mourning without guilt is a goal for all who are left behind. The following are the stages of grief through which people fluctuate. There is a normal movement from the first to the last, while at the same time there is vacillation between the stages, i.e., they arrive in a variety of patterns.
  1. Shock and Emotional Freeze-Up. When a person dies, either expectedly or unexpectedly, the ones who remain are left in shock. Their emotions temporarily freeze. In this stage, it is good to weep.
  2. Problem Distinguishing Between Fact and Fantasy. There is an expectation that the deceased will return at any moment. Many things will remind them of their loved ones. A person will sometimes live in a life of fantasy and think it to be fact.
  3. Emotional Flood Gates Open at the Most Unexpected Moment. Because people often restrain their emotions, they will often break at a later stage. One should not be ashamed of this occurring regardless of the place or time. It is usually uncontrollable.
  4. Association. The most difficult time a person lives through after the death of someone close is the special days like Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. During these times of association, grieving people need extra care. There are many things which arouse association. It is okay to ask for special care and attention during these times.
  5. Acceptance. At this point fact becomes real. This does not mean that emotions will not surge or associations will not occur. It does mean that the person remaining accepts the facts and faces life accordingly.
  6. Facing the Future. A person never gets over sharing life without someone close who has died. However, one must adjust to life without the presence of the loved one. Set some goals and do some things you have always wanted to do.

(Adapted from Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth, On Death and Dying. Reprint edition (July 26, 2011).

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Jesus Followers


There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.


(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)