5. Dr. J. William Worden’s Four Tasks of Mourning
“Grieving is a necessary passage and a difficult transition to finally letting go of sorrow – it is not a permanent rest stop.” – Dodinsky
Worden’s model suggests that a grieving person must complete 4 tasks in order to form a balance with grief. These tasks are non-linear and are not time-bound. These tasks are subjective and were primarily developed to cope with the death of a loved one.
5.1. Task One: Accept the reality of loss
Acceptance is crucial for healing when dealing with loss. Taking part in certain activities, like planning for the funeral, can help you reaffirm and accept the reality of a loss.
5.2. Task Two: Experience the pain and the grief
It is crucial that you express your experience of grief and pain in whatever way that might work for you. There is nothing right or wrong as long as it actually helps you to process the pain. However, it should not be used as a means to escape the reality of loss.
5.3. Task Three: Adjust to a world without them
When we lose someone we love, our entire world changes drastically. Embracing this new environment and accepting the changes can help you come to terms with losing a loved one. The sooner you start making small and simple adjustments, the easier it will be for you to reduce the impact of their absence.
5.4. Task Four: Maintain connection & reinvest in new relationships
It is crucial that you find a way to preserve the emotional connection with the deceased loved one while trying your best to build a new life for yourself. You need to move ahead and focus on living your life without letting go of the person you have lost or forgetting them.
6. Margaret Stroebe & Henk Schut’s Dual Process Model of Grief
This model mainly focuses on helping you understand how someone processes and experiences grief after losing a loved one. According to this grief model, you will cycle among loss-oriented responses & restoration-oriented responses as you go through the grieving and healing process.
6.1. Loss-oriented responses
It is what we usually feel and think about when grieving the loss of a loved one. You may experience intense sadness, emptiness, loneliness, crying, mood swings, think about the deceased loved one and even become withdrawn and isolated.
6.2. Restoration-oriented responses
This occurs when you begin to accept the reality and start rebuilding your life by filling the emptiness left by the death of a loved one. This may include activities like taking on new roles which they used to play earlier, conducting essential tasks which you never did earlier (like paying bills or doing household chores), learning to manage finances, experiencing new things and building new relationships.
You may follow the cycle repeatedly and a number of times as long as you grieve and begin the process of healing.
As we experience loss and grief in varying intensities and ways, it is best that you patiently focus on your journey towards recovery while still remembering and respecting the deceased loved one.
How to deal with loss and grief
All of us have to experience grief and loss at some point of time in our lives. It can be devastating and depressing, but by acknowledging and expressing your emotions you can start to heal, instead of getting overwhelmed with sadness.
Here are a few ways that can help you cope with loss and minimize your pain while you mourn:
1. Participate in rituals
Make sure you take part and join in the funeral, memorial service and other traditions as it can not only help you to accept the reality, but also honor the deceased. Seeing how others love, respect and remember your loved one can be comforting.