Suppression of the grief process among males following bereavement, deny the males to express their pain or respond to the realities of what has happened and can be traumatic and subsequently cause death. This study was guided by a qualitative and quantitative research method, and examines loss, and grief that follow the death of loved ones. Gerkin’s Shepherding Model of caring for the individual and the community of faith and Kubler- Ross’ model on grief dynamics are employed. Expression of grief depends on a number of factors that may range from emotional closeness of the family, how the family defines grief, the role and relationship to the deceased, one’s spiritual, psychosocial strength. In most Zimbabwean cultures the grief process is complicated by the delay in the initiation of funeral and mourning rituals as a result of unfinished businesses. Conflict management is pivotal to the process of grief in most African cultures where rituals provide a structured way of affirming that death has occurred and help in reducing suppression of grief. Traditional practices are carried out in a structured way; generally the bereaved needs an authority to give permission to carry out the funeral and mourning rituals, by so doing the society reduces guilty feelings in the bereaved. In this study Chapter 2 traces the theoretical, biblical and the ex-biblical and African perspectives in the process of grief. Chapter 3 provides the methodology in carrying out the research. Chapter 4 details how 13 African males of Murewa circuit have journeyed through the grief process. Their stories indicated how: males are socialized; the expectations of the family, society, culture and church hinder the grief journey, and how male’s view of masculinity has put pressure on them during grief. In chapter 5 concluding thoughts, include the role of practical theology as a social action in helping males to grieve, the role of the community in healing through rituals and how the Church’s theology of grief should equip the Church in helping males to pass through the valleys of grief without shame and a feeling of guilt, by helping them to challenge their “predictable dishonesties of everyday Life” (Egan 2002:192).
Dissertation (MA (Research in Practical Theology))--University of Pretoria, 2007.