- To accept the reality of the loss. To come face to face with the reality of the loss as irretrievable.
- To experience the pain of grief. Including the literal physical pain that many experience and the emotional and behavioral pain associated with loss.
- To adjust to an environment in which the deceased is missing. Reorganizing and adjusting one’s life so that life can go on. Learning new skills and discovering inner abilities.
- To withdraw emotional energy and reinvest it. This task affects an emotional withdrawal and release from the loss so that this emotional energy can be reinvested in someone or something else.
*From Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy, A Handbook for Mental Health Practitioners, by J. William Worden, Ph.D., Springer Publishing co., New York, 1982
Recently two psychologists, William Worden, Ph.D. and Sandra Fox, Ph.D. have developed the tasks that grieving adults and children need to accomplish for their grief to be good grief. (Good grief is that which enhances or allows the person to rurn to their previous level of functioning.)
- Understanding: Knowing the loss really happened and is real
- Grieving: Working through the various feelings that are a part of mourning.
- Commemorating: Some way of remembering, observing, or memorializing the loss. Provides an opportunity for affirming the value or the life of the person-or other type of loss
- Going on: Permission is needed from significant others that it is OK to get on with life and OK to “regrieve” should the feelings return
*From Good Grief: Helping Groups of Children When A friend Dies, Sandra Fox, The New England Association for the Educaton of Young Children, 35 Pilgrim Road, Boston, MA 02215, 1985