I Am Living

As grief or mourning progresses, its intensity will fluctuate. It does not always follow an orderly progression and it will rarely remain static. In grief, there are ups and downs, twists and turns, which temporarily and suddenly intensify the grief, for minutes, hours, days or longer.

Grief can often be triggered again, sometimes years after death or loss. Certain experiences, such as other losses, memorial anniversary dates, birthdays, times of crisis or joy can temporarily resurrect intense feelings of grief.

Psychologist and grief expert, William Worden suggests that there are four (4) “tasks” associated with mourning. You may find knowing about these useful.

The tasks are to:

  1. accept that the person has died. This acceptance takes time and has to be learned again every day;
  2. experience the pain of grief. This can be a lonely time; those around you, even those close to you cannot know or judge your pain;
  3. find your place in the world without the person who died. This adjusting can involve many ongoing changes in your life; and
  4. live in this “new world” in a meaningful way, whilst keeping an enduring connection with the one who has died. This may include taking on new roles, responsibilities, skills and relationships while keeping memories of the person who died alive.

Adapted from Grief Counselling and Grief Therapy

  –  J W Worden, Routledge 1997