Think On This
Dealing With Death & Grief Dealing With Death & Grief Dealing With Death & Grief Dealing With Death & Grief

The following is a condensed study of a larger work to assist others in dealing with life's uncertainties, sorrows, and tragedies that come to us all. Use each point to provoke your own thoughts and discussions that should lead to a rewarding experience in your own understanding into these moments when words seem to either be inadequate or completely fail us, and, should ultimately lead you to beneficial service to others.

Although it was developed for group study and discussion, it has proven helpful in individual study. Use it as you will.

Finally, no other Bible references are included beyond the text of Jesus' example. This is done so as not to super-impose a structure on your own avenue of discovery. We, and you, should trust His Spirit to guide you as you launch from point to point.

I.
FIVE STAGES OF GRIEF:
as a theory first introduced in 1969 by Dr. Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross in her book: On Death and Dying. Please note her caution or clarification of these given in her last book before her death in 2004: "...(they were) an attempt to summarize what we have learned from our dying patients in terms of coping mechanisms at the time of a terminal illness...They were never meant to help tuck messy emotions into neat packages. They are responses to loss that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss, as there is no typical loss. Our grieving is as individual as our lives."
  A.
Denial & Isolation
  B.
Anger
  C.
Bargaining
  D.
Depression
  E.
Acceptance
 
As Dr. Ross suggested, do not try to fit everyone into a rigid model or mold of these 5 stages and expect a neat progression of every individual through them before finally returning to a normally functioning healthy state of being. It is highly recommended to read her own writings on this rather than others' interpretation of them that led her to issue the above clarification and correction before her death. Therefore, I have not noted comment for each of these. For those engaged in supporting others in a period of their grief regardless of its cause, patience, understanding, and compassion should be key in your approach.
II.
USING THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS AS A FRIEND FOUND IN JOHN 11:
What did He do that we could apply in our own opportunities for service?
  A.
He maintained a close enough relationship that in a time of crisis He was contacted.
  B.
He maintained a close relationship with the Father that He could be counted on to lend comfort and assurance.
  C.
He was not too busy that He couldn't do whatever was necessary, as requested, within the Father's will.
  D.
He listened with great concern and understanding.
  E.
He counseled with wisdom and understanding of the Heavenly Father's Will.
  F.
He demonstrated great compassion.
  G.
He gently reminded them of their commitment to faith.
  H.
He encouraged (prompted) them to continue in that faith.
  I.
He interceded with the Father on their behalf. (Thus demonstrating the importance of prayer.)
  (Add your own individual or group's further insights here as the Spirit prompts you.)
III.
FOUR WAYS TO FACE DEATH & GRIEF:   (As they did in John 11.)
  A.
Know Him as Lord & Savior.
  B.
Maintain a close, personal, daily relationship with Him. (Walking with Him in life's dark valleys, through bathing in His Word, communion with His Spirit, and association with others He has redeemed.)
  C.
Look for His sudden appearing.
  D.
Encourage each other in life's dark hours.
  (Again, add your own individual or group's further insights in John 11 as the Spirit leads.)


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Author: Ken Livingston
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