Four Tasks of Mourning (W. Worden)*

  1. To accept the reality of the loss. To come face to face with the reality of the loss as irretrievable.
  2. To experience the pain of grief. Including the literal physical pain that many experience and the emotional and behavioral pain associated with loss.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

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