Michael Porter


I agree Joy this is a helpful article and affirming of what we have been sharing.

As I read there is one thought that stuck in my head and that is presented in the reference from Ken Doka (1993).  I have read a number of things by Doka and have watched some recorded presentations he has made and panels he has sat on.  His insights are helpful.  Google Ken Doka and you will be able to find what he has done.

Anyway, reference is made to his argument that  bereaved persons may simultaneously struggle with two losses. “the loss of the deceased and the loss of their own beliefs” … the fifth task in bereavement is to “rebuild faith and philosophical systems that are challenged by loss.”  For me knowing what faith tradition or religion – or not – a person might practice is important to give me an idea of what a person might be thinking or believing.  Where I typically begin is to listen for what is going on with the person and where s/he is at – to hear what their worldview is.  I have been with people who struggle with what comes naturally when grieving – crying, doubting, anger etc. – because if they express any of these they are showing a lack of faith, especially when this is directed toward God.

Grieving is a time when everything a person knows and believe is questioned.  When people are given permission to “let it all out” and do what come naturally, they begin to work things through.  Their worldview and beliefs are developing beyond where they were.  I believe people have answers within themselves and I as a Chaplain can help them find those answers, and in so doing their worldview and belief system grows.

For me, the article shows this is true also for children.  Conversations with children, using the tools we have been discussing can help them explore their worldview and what they believe and how death affects that.  This can bring out the confusion children might have with what they have learned from a religion etc.  Giving them permission to explore this, is needed for them to adjust and grow.  Getting this process to their level and in their terms is our challenge.