Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff is an accumulation of tales and quotes relating to Wolterstorff managing the unexpected demise of his child, Eric, in a mountain climbing mishap. Wolterstorff arranges stories relating to Eric’s life and passing to make a moving story of how he overcomes such disaster through his confidence and belief in God. “Lament for a Son” is an exceedingly motivational book that is intended to help others in managing comparative instances.
Wolterstorff is able to find hope through trust in God and believing in resurrection. Wolterstorff will live with his second thoughts and acknowledge them as part of life, sitting tight for the apocalypse to apologize to Eric (Wolterstorff, 1987). Wolterstorff figures out how to spy God in the light, yet he can’t discover God in the obscurity. He requests that God protect his family, pretty much as he requested that God preserve Eric. Wolterstorffr now fathoms the misery of the world more profound. A critical companion inquires as to why he doesn’t dismiss God; however Wolterstorff sees the eminence of God in his general surroundings. He is certain he will converse with Eric again amid God’s rule on Earth. God suffers with his people; grievers are reassured by the tears of God. The Messiah hails those who grief, promising that they will be ameliorated. God is love, and love is enduring, so God is enduring. At the point when God’s measure of torment is full, reclamation will be satisfied. Wolterstorff will experience the truth of Eric’s demise, yet his pain remains. His torment might be a gift, yet it is difficult to consider it to be such. Wolterstorff’s family should be rebuilt to exist without Eric. Eric’s family visits his grave one year after his passing and say farewell to Eric until they meet again in God’s kingdom (Wolterstorff, 1987). Wolterstorff realizes God’s offer in humanity’s agony, the perseverance of faith, and Christian hope.
Wolterstorff is able to undergo Kubler-Ross five stages of grieving i.e. denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The first stage of Wolterstorff grieving is denial. This stage helps one to survive the misfortune. For Wolterstorff the world gets to be good for nothing and overpowering. Life has neither rhyme nor reason. Wolterstorff is in a condition of stun and disavowal. Wolterstorff thinks about how he can go on, on the off chance that he can go on, why he ought to go on after the death of his son Eric. The narrator attempts to figure out how to just overcome every day. Dissent and stun helps Wolterstorff to adapt and make survival conceivable. Dissent helps the narrator to pace his sentiments of despondency. In denial there is grace. It is nature’s method for letting in just as much as one can deal with. As Wolterstorff acknowledge the truth of the misfortune and begin to make inquiries, he slowly starts the mending process. The narrator starts to be stronger, and the dissent is starting to blur. Yet, as he continues, every one of the sentiments he was denying start to surface.
Anger is an essential phase of the mending process. Wolterstorff feels his indignation, despite the fact that it might appear to be perpetual. The more he genuinely feels it, the more it starts to disperse and the more he heals. There are numerous different feelings under the outrage especially towards God, yet outrage is meant to bring a sense of closure. Wolterstorff’s lamentations are Job-like. The resentment is simply one more sign of Wolterstorff’s intensity of love for his son.
The bargaining stage is where people ask the “what if” question. Wolterstorff’s is able to ask why his son had to climb the mountain alone and therefore what if he would have done it with someone then maybe he would have been alive. Wolterstorff’s is finding fault in himself and if time were reversed then he would have done things differently which would have prevented the death of his son. Wolterstorff’s stays in the past trying to negotiate his way out of the pain of his son’s death by playing out possible scenarios that should have happen before the tragedy. Wolterstorff envisions a battle where he is unable to protect one of the troopers behind him. He is tormented by honest inquiries regarding his children and can discover horrible quality of life content with death.
After playing back scenarios and bargaining, people come back to the present reality and depression starts to kick in. Wolterstorff becomes depressed due to the death of his son Eric and this happens in a deeper level as his passion for life is cooled. Depression is an appropriate response to any loss especially of a loved one (Bolden, 2007). What is even more depressing for Wolterstorff is that Eric did not get the chance to live as it is not right for the parents to bury their children but it should be the other way round. Wolterstorff is also depressed by the fact that Eric will never come back again and they did not have the chance to say goodbye.
The last stage is acceptance where one realizes that this reality is real and permanent. Wolterstorff is able to live with the fact that his son is gone and that is why the family has to learn how to live without Eric. Wolterstorff has faith and belief that during the judgment day, he will be able to meet his son, Eric and apologize. It is upon Wolterstorff and family to readjust to living without Eric and at the same time living as if he were there. Acceptance is not about feeling that what has happened is ok, but is about embracing reality and being strong. Wolterstorff is able to find solace in God by identifying God is suffering with him and actually God is suffering. Grieving is a form of acceptance of the loss.
According to Christians, death is not so much typical or normal despite the fact that it is a relentless reality of mankind’s history. Since man was made by God to be a body, spirit and soul bound together and in that state to live everlastingly with God in association with Him. This is the common, typical state that God got ready for man. This is the reason Christians have the trust and promise of the resurrection (2 Corinthians 5:1-9, New English Translation). Death is considered as an enemy because it distorts God’s initial plan for man as it separates the body and the spirit. Death is also considered to as wages of sin by Christians. Death is an enemy because it separates people from their loved ones and makes life seem without purpose. The worst thing about death is that if people die without Christ then they will live their eternity without Christ which will be filled with pain and suffering.
To Christians, death is not the end of life but just the end of physical being. Life continues after death because the soul is immortal. Christians believe in the concept of victory over death. The Christians believe that one day they will be reunited with their loved ones and brethrens and this will be an eternal unity. The brethren will fellowship forever together. Christ’s death has been the cornerstone of Christian salvation as this cancelled their sins and those who live by him will not be condemned during the judgment day (Romans 8:1, New English Translation). Ultimately, death will bring Christians in the presence of God where there will be no pain and suffering, and also there will be no more death as people will live in eternity (Wong, Fung & Jiang, 2015). Christians believe in the resurrection of the dead. It is believed that when a Christian believer dies, their God intended purpose on earth is over and therefore death is not an accident with God.
Hope for the resurrection plays a big part in Wolterstorff acceptance and comfort. Wolterstorff fails to extinguish the resurrection candle because he believes that one day all Christians will be resurrected and he will be able to meet his son again and apologize. Wolterstorff believe that during God’s reign on Earth the family will be resurrected and be united with Eric forever. Through his faith in God, he believes that death will be overcome and the Christians will take place beside those who suffer. The reassurance of his faith about resurrection and meeting Eric has given Wolterstorff hope in life.