Paper analysis on grief


Lament for a son is a heartbreaking story of a man who loseshis son at a tender age and how he goes through the painful loss.After the loss, Wolterstorff finds joy in knowing that grief is anexistential testimony that he once loved and there is hope inresurrection. Axelrod (2015) describes the five stages of gettingover loss and grief as a singular and personal experience for eachindividual. It is very difficult for Nicholas to get over the denialstage as the death of Eric happens tragically in a mountain climbingaccident. Several years later, Wolterstorff notices that the griefand pain have reduced and are no longer raw. At this stage, he hasovercome denial, isolation, anger, bargaining and depression phasesof mourning. He is in the acceptance stage and learns to appreciatethe love he had for his son as life lasting.

According to the author, the worth that love holds is abides andwhile he cannot forget that he lost a son, he can get over it at somepoint in life. In the meantime lamenting is part of life and istermed as a love song. Every lament according to Wolterstorff (1987)is a love-song. A love song evokes fresh and sweet memories of peoplethat we love. Love songs make us want to listen more especially if wehave ever found or are experiencing love at that time. There is a lotof joy in listening to love songs as they bring feelings of warmthand memories of our loved ones. Similarly, lamenting for Wolterstoffevokes good memories of the time he shared with his son. Beforedeparting at a tender age of 25, Eric is fondly remembered as a childnot because he was loved more than his brothers or sisters butbecause he died too soon. It is wrong for parents to bury theirchildren but instead children should bury their children. There ishope after life according to the Holy Bible. That is why joy andconsolation comes whenever we think about the loss of a loved one.This is the case in the story. The author feels hopeful at the end inknowing that he will meet his son again. As a believer, Nicholasknows that resurrection promises life after death.

The meaning and significance of death in light of the Christiannarrative is displayed in several ways in the narrative. To startwith, the death of Eric transits Wolterstorff to another perspectiveof life, to experience death at a personal level. As he goes throughthe phases of death, he learns to appreciate how great love is. It isat this point that he understands the famous Biblical verse John3:16, which explains how great God’s love for humanity was to theextent of sending his only son to die (Holy Bible). Having lost ason, the author experiences what it felt like for God to let go ofhis only begotten son. He explains the God’s love for humankind ashaving caused him a lot of pain through losing his only son to savethe world. In the same case he accepts that there is no love withoutlose. If we love, we should be able to suffer for that love throughlosing our loved ones. God commands us to love but as we love, weshould be ready to suffer the pain of love, which is death. In themidst of the suffering however, God holds us and is on our sidepromising to comfort us.

The hope of resurrection plays a significant role in comfortingWolterstorff at a time when nothing else can feel the void he isexperiencing. It is impossible for any human being to know what he isgoing through unless they have lost a child. However even those whohave lost a child cannot experience exactly what he is feelingbearing in mind that his son’s death was tragic and not expected.During this phase of his life, Wolterstorff learns to see the gloryof God in the world, even praying for God to protect his family.Acknowledging the presence of God is a crucial aspect as it gives himhope for seeing his son again. The Bible talks about resurrectiondescribing how we will see the Lamb of God on the judgment day.

John 11:25 talks about Jesus being the resurrection of life andanyone who believes in Him shall live. John 6:40 states the will ofthe Father as everyone having eternal life if they believe in God, 1Thessalonians 4:14 describes how God will bring those who have fallenasleep to life if we believe that Jesus died and rose (Holy Bible,2008). There is hope for believers and death cannot separate usforever. The significance of death in light of the narrative is thatthere is hope for those who died in that they will resurrect and beunited with their loved ones someday.


Axelrod, J. (2015). The five stages of grief, psych centralretrieved from

HendricksonPublishers. (2008).&nbspTheHoly Bible: King James Version.Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers.

Wolterstorff,N. (1987).&nbspLamentfor a son.Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans.