Monday, July 1, 2013

Final Closure

  Ramona and Jim Case, long-time Crystal Cathedral members and good friends.   We are standing  on the plaza in front of the visitors center which used to house the bookstore.

After suffering significant loss of any kind, in order to stay healthy in body, mind, and soul, we must allow ourselves to go through the stages of grief   There are a few different theories regarding grief and the model I relate to most is The Five Stages of Grief explained by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her book "Death And Dying".
Also known as the 'grief cycle', it is important to bear in mind that Kübler-Ross did not intend this to be a rigid series of sequential or uniformly timed emotions or events but something that flows and changes during various experiences over time.  

The model is perhaps a way of explaining how and why ‘time heals’, or how ‘life goes on’. And as with any aspect of our own or other people’s emotions, when we know more about what is happening, then dealing with it is usually made a little easier.
While Kübler-Ross’ focus was on death and bereavement, the grief cycle model is a useful perspective for understanding our own and other people’s emotional reaction to personal trauma and change, irrespective of cause.  Here are the stages of grief as Kubler-Ross explains them:

1 – Denial Denial is a conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, reality, etc., relating to the situation concerned. It’s a defense mechanism and perfectly natural. Some people can become locked in this stage when dealing with a traumatic change that can be ignored. Death of course is not particularly easy to avoid or evade indefinitely.
2 – Anger Anger can manifest in different ways. People dealing with emotional upset can be angry with themselves, and/or with others, especially those close to them. Knowing this helps keep detached and non-judgemental when experiencing the anger of someone who is very upset.
3 – Bargaining Traditionally the bargaining stage for people facing death can involve attempting to bargain with whatever God the person believes in. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek to negotiate a compromise. For example “Can we still be friends?..” when facing a break-up. Bargaining rarely provides a sustainable solution, especially if it’s a matter of life or death.
4 – Depression Also referred to as preparatory grieving. In a way it’s the dress rehearsal or the practice run for the ‘aftermath’ although this stage means different things depending on whom it involves. It’s a sort of acceptance with emotional attachment. It’s natural to feel sadness and regret, fear, uncertainty, etc. It shows that the person has at least begun to accept the reality.
5 – Acceptance Again this stage definitely varies according to the person’s situation, although broadly it is an indication that there is some emotional detachment and objectivity. People dying can enter this stage a long time before the people they leave behind, who must necessarily pass through their own individual stages of dealing with the grief.   source

Why do I post this on a Monday morning after the last service in the Crystal Cathedral?   Although my husband Robert and I have navigated through our grief over the past five years I realize that there are thousands locally, and even more globally, who have not yet healed.  My hope and my prayer is to provide helpful information so people will find healing.
 An important thing to remember is that grief not dealt with will come out in various ways.  Face it head-on and you can move through it.  Ignore it, sweep it under the carpet, and it can negatively affect your health and your relationships.  
Also, grief is very personal and it has a season of its own.  Don't rush it.  Feel it.  Appreciate it as a season you are moving through.  One thing I did was write.  This blog was started in 2009, only a few months after we left the ministry.  I started it to reach out to all of the church members we were suddenly cut-off from.  Little did I know that the people I came in touch with and the process actually helped me more that I could ever help them.  For this, I will be forever grateful.

Join my Robert and I on July 15 for "The Call" which starts at 6pm PDT.  We will interview a very special guest, Kenneth Lord.  He has produced a movie, "Disciples of The Christ" which was written to be released right after "The Passion of The Christ."  
Join us to see how you can be a part of The Movement. For more information go to: 
This promises to be an amazing evening!
We will also pray together, read scripture, listen to a brief message, and have a time of questions where you get the opportunity to ask anything of  Kenneth, Robert, or myself.   
 To join us all you need is a telephone.   At 6pm sharp (Pacific Time) call:  530-881-1300   When prompted key-in: 642848#  

God is blessing you through all things.   Donna


  1. Great Post, Mom. Love you. xo

  2. I know that many are still grieving the "loss" of the many years at their "home" church. Having studied Elisabeth Kübler-Ross' excellent book myself years ago, good you posted the process. I am one who actually is now really looking forward to the fresh start and the new Blessings it will bring at Shepherd's Grove. And of course, the "old' Crystal Cathedral is something I can keep all the good memories and let the breezes carry away the difficult past 4 1/2 years. The usual scenery will be replaced and fresh and I really am quite excited to see Hour of Power from Shepherd's Grove. This is a great opportunity to "feel" the Church is us and see how well we can use the change and challenge to, as the words say "Be still and know that I Am"

    My prayers will be for the many who have been attending at the former Cathedral site and I hope that knowing and seeing the same faces and new faces as the congregation grows, will be rewarding for most. It will be up to each obviously but similarly those who used what is now Shepherd's Grove must deal with their change too. We have that in common I guess regardless our differences in ways of worship.

    God is Blessing all, always

  3. My Swiss love to yor German Friend Ramona! I do not know if she still remembers me!


Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. Please try to stay on the topic and remember also that there are many who are struggling through all kinds of challenges. Let's all be kind and thoughtful with our comments please! :D