HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422
BRUNSDON, Alfred R.. Consolation as a unique outcome within a pastoral-narrative approach to grief. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2009, vol.65, n.1. ISSN 2072-8050.
The pastoral counselling of those who grieve, poses new challenges to pastoral care. Because of the shift away from a modernist paradigm, the grief process is now seen as an open-ended process, rather than a closed process that focuses on the mastering of the so-called tasks of mourning, and the avoidance of grief pathology. Recent grief theory suggests that the grief process cannot reach a point of closure. Grief counselling should therefore rather embark on a process of generating new meaning to the problem-saturated discourses surrounding death and loss. Narrative therapy is suggested as a means of grief counselling, as it makes use of the story analogy, which supports the notion of an open end to the grief process. In this study, the narrative is explored within the framework of Practical Theology. Both the master story of God and the grief-saturated stories of people are combined in a pastoral approach that envisages consolation as the unique outcome of the therapeutic process. Consolation is regarded as one of the secondary narratives in the greater narrative of God, as well as in the reformed theological vocabulary. It is suggested that a pastoral-narrative approach to grief will generate the consolation needed by the grief-stricken on their lifelong journey of coming to terms with their loss.
Keywords : narratiewe benadering; rousmart; troos; unieke uitkomste; pastorale begeleding.