Sweet spirit - gone but not gone : moving from grief to healing before, during and after the death of a loved one.

Date of Award


Document Type



Drew Theological School

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Many people recognize the different stages of grief after the death of a loved one; however, the grieving process can, in many cases, begin long before a person dies. If there is a lingering illness or grave prognosis after an accident, death, although certain, can be a long ways off. How does the person dying cope? How does the family deal with the stresses of caring for that loved one while watching them perish? Conversely, after the loved one has passed and the funeral or memorial is over, everyone moves on to a new normal. For the caregiver and those closest to the bereaved, how is this handled? I submit that there are three stages of grief that need to be addressed, before, during and after the death of a loved one. Each stage is unique and has its different phases. This is what we will cover.