Grief Work

There are many misconceptions about grief, one of the most prevalent is the idea that grief is strictly passive. Grief comes upon us and overwhelms us when we experience loss, its outside of our control. There is truth to this, but there is more to it. Grief is also active, it is work that we can and […]

Types of Grief

Reaction to loss is complex and diverse. Professionals in the field of counseling have identified some helpful categories for grief trends that have been commonly observed. These are helpful when thinking about the various ways loss is handled in our lives. The following summaries are borrowed from the website What’s Your Grief. Anticipatory Grief As its name suggests, ‘Anticipatory […]

Broadening our View of Grief

Grief is tethered to loss, making it inevitable in this life. One definition of grief captures this: “Grief is the normal and natural emotional reaction to loss or change of any kind. Of itself, grief is neither a pathological condition nor a personality disorder.” Grief is normal and natural in this world because loss and change are normal. Loss and change are broad […]

Exploring Grief: A Look at Grief Models

I would like to spend some time this month exploring grief. I will explore it from different angles with the aim of developing a healthy framework for conceptualizing grief, practicing grief and helping others grieve. To start off, let’s talk about three models of grief. Brenda Mallon’s book, Dying, Death and Grief explores various models that attempt to capture the grief process. […]

The Command to Weep

“Jesus wept,” two words that change everything (Jn 11:35). God hurts. God grieves. God weeps. Jesus is proof. When the Triune God meets pain he does the opposite of flee, he absorbs. He enters the fray. Paul urges followers of Christ to take the some posture. When we encounter those who weep we are commanded to weep […]

Lament Dramatized

Claus Westermann called the book of Job a “dramatized lament.” In the psalms we only hear the voice of the lamenter and rarely do we know his situation. In Job we see everything. We see the circumstances in detail. We know the lamenter. We watch his lament develop and unravel. We watch the movement to […]