How to Recover from Sudden and Tragic Loss


Phyllis E. Carter, MS, LCMFT, MDiv, DMin
Preacher, Teacher, Lecturer, Author

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A. Theological Inner Struggles
• I thought God was going to heal my Pastor/ Mother/ Father/ Family Member. What kind of God would let something like this happen?
• My faith was dismantled
B. The Grief, The Process. Now What Do I Do?
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross -Author
Identifies 5 stages of grief that most people deal with
1. Denial – Shock, Avoidance, Confusion, The Sudden and Unexpected Loss
Denial is the stage that can initially help you survive the loss. You
might think life makes no sense, has no meaning and is too
overwhelming. You are in shock because life as you once knew it has changed in an instant.
2. Anger- Frustration, Irritation, Anxiety


Toxic Theology

Rev. Laurie Garrett-Cobbina, Ph.D.
Assoc. Professor of Pastoral Care and Education
Shaw Chair for Clinical Pastoral Education


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Lack of humility
2. Lack of critical reflection
3. Lack of curiosity
4. Lack of Introspection
5. Unable/unwilling to identify biases
6. Does not examine for relevance
7. Lacks compassion & empathy
8. Closed system
9. Lack of creativity & imagination


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