Suffering In Nicholas Wolterstorff's Lament For A Son

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Although no two people grieve the same, there are some common feelings shared among those who mourn. First described by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, there are five widely accepted stages of grief one may experience after the loss of a loved one. After years of misinterpretation, Kübler-Ross clarifies that these stages are not steps, but rather tools to assist one in learning to live with the loss of someone they loved (Kübler-Ross, Kessler, & Shriver, 2014). A mourning parent may go through all these stages, or only a few. They may go through the stages in the order they are listed, or they may bounce between the different stages in no particular order. This paper will explore one father’s journey through grief. In 1983, Nicholas Wolterstorff lost his 25-year-old son to a mountain climbing accident. Four years later he wrote a memoir, Lament for a Son, reflecting on the grief he felt following his death. This paper will examine each…show more content…
He begins to see that it is not living at peace with death, but rather suffering in the face of death that brings peace (Wolterstorff, 1987, p. 94). As he comes to terms with this new process he contemplates what to be thankful for. In his statement, “Am I sometimes to sorrow over my delight and sometimes to delight over my sorrows?” (Wolterstorff, 1987, p. 97) shows his growth and perplexed feelings about his newfound growth and evolvement. A year after Eric’s death, Wolterstorff’s feelings have evolved even more. As he stands above his son’s grave he thinks about the resurrection, and what that will mean for Eric and everyone else. He wonders if he will again hear Eric’s voice, and is comforted when he thinks of how God created everything and raised his son from the dead, and thus he can recreate. He says goodbye to Eric, “until we see” (Wolterstorff, 1987, p. 102). The reader gets a sense of peace, or shalom, in the author’s inference that he will see his son again in another

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