The summary of the selected article appears at the bottom of the page. In order to get back to the contents of the issue this article belongs to you have to access the link from the title. In order to see all the articles of the archive which have as author/co-author one of the authors mentioned below, you have to access the link from the author's name.


  Abstract:  The Bereavement Process Viewed from the Angle of Pastoral Psychology Bereavement, grief, sorrow are everyday realities of life. People make great efforts to avoid them whenever they can, but still they have to face these strange and unbearable feelings daily. Every time people have to face a burden or a heavy loss, they feel the need to be assisted in their grief, to have somebody to help bear the burden and go on with life, not to be left alone with their grief. Another urge in such moments is to think through the purpose of life, the former style of life, to think it through and maybe even restructure it. But in these quests regarding the purpose of life no one expects human answers, rather people turn to God and expect to have answers and comfort from Him. The object of our paper hereby is to study the spiritual process, origin and models of bereavement from a psychological point of view. An analytical approach points out two possible sources of loss and bereavement: the attachment theory and the object -relation theory. Both theories have early childhood, the mother-child relationship and the traumas of this relationship at their bases. Pastoral psychologists Michell and Anderson define six forms of loss due to bereavement: material loss, relationship loss, intrapsychic loss, functional loss, role loss and systemic loss. Each type of loss has its specific traits and often more several types appear within one period of bereavement. The authors draw our attention upon the fact that bereavement is rather a state of our lives than a period, since we are exposed to losses our entire life. As a model of the bereavement process, the study hereby works with Yorik Spiegel’s model, which defines the following phases: state of shock, controlled grief, regression and accommodation. Besides a healthy processing of loss, the study also slightly deals with symptoms and characteristics of complicated and pathological bereavement processes. In the chapter describing sessions with bereaved persons therapy assisted bereavement processing, forms of professional help and possibilities for spiritual counselling will be presented. Usually loss is treated as a negative aspect of life and people are inclined to avoid it, still these periods of trial, in fact, help people weigh their lives, relationships, system of values, their past and future. In such a trial people can gain much, they can come out of it victorious, fortified, they can find a new way in life, a new meaning to life, they can find out better who they are or who their Creator is. In most of the cases the bereaved do not foresee the end of their bereavement period, do not see the end of the tunnel, they do not see themselves, they do not see a future for themselves. But despite of all hopelessness the God of hope and life is there, ready to help they in their times of trial. The bereavement of Christians is not different from the bereavement of any other person. Their grief can be just as deep as any other person’s grief. They need time to process loss too. Belief in God does not exempt anybody from the burdens of life. Still, when the time of bereavement and loss comes, Christians can go through the bereavement process looking up to God, clinging to him for assistance and comfort.  
      Back to previous page