TASKS OF MOURNING 

Prior to or after the death of a loved one, friends and family oftentimes face complicated emotions. A new reality begins immediately after the death of our loved ones. It is important to remember that we can learn how to keep the person in our heart, while moving forward in our day-to-day life. The “tasks” listed below describe how to adjust to the loss in a healthy way.

 

The tasks of mourning can be used as a framework to assess our grief and to determine a course of action.

 

The tasks of mourning, introduced by J.W. Worden, are as follows:

  1. To accept the reality of the loss

  2. To process the pain of grief

  3. To adjust to a world without the person who is dying or has died.

  4. To remember the person while moving forward in life

 

Mourning is an active process, not a passive one. We who are bereaved (grieving) are empowered to work through our grief so that we can move forward in life while remembering our loved ones.

Mourning is not a linear process—the “tasks” listed below may be completed in any order, and/or revisited multiple times. Additionally, there is no set timeframe for completing the “tasks”.

TASK 1: Accept the reality of the loss. 

• Accept the loss both intellectually and emotionally. 

• Recognize the significance of the loss.

TASK 2: Process the pain of grief.

• Name and make sense of your emotions.

• Let yourself feel these emotions, rather than trying to bury them.

TASK 3: Adjust to a world without your loved one. 

• Make practical changes, such as taking over tasks your loved one used to complete.

• Adapt to a changing self-identity and worldview. 

TASK 4: Remember your loved one while moving forward in life. 

• Create a place for your loved one in your heart that leaves room for new relationships.

• Find a balance between remembering your loved one and moving forward.

Please reach out if you need to talk.