THE TASKS OF GRIEVING
As opposed to the stage model, the task approach implies that action needs to be taken to process grief and promotes the idea that there are things we can do to help in our own healing.
TASK 1: TO ACCEPT/RECONCILE THE REALITY OF THE LOSS
- Anger is a ubiquitous feature in this task
- Includes both intellectual acceptance (knowing the person has died) and emotional acceptance.
- Retelling the story of the death is one way we strive to accept this new reality
TASK 2: TO WORK THROUGH THE PAIN OF GRIEF
- Involves allowing yourself to feel the pain of losing someone close
- It is ok to cry, feel sad, feel empty, and in pain because the person is no longer alive
- Try not to totally block out emotions or reminders of the person who died – it is ok to distract yourself from very painful emotions from time to time if needed.
- Acknowledge that grief comes in waves – there will be both good and difficult days
TASK 3: TO ADJUST TO AN ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH THE PERSON IS MISSING
- Often, we relied on the person for certain things such as company, affection, financial planning, emotional support, etc.
- To get through this task, we need to work on building skills or finding other resources to get our needs met
- 3 main areas of adjustment:
- – External Adjustments – how their death affects your everyday functioning in the world
- – Internal Adjustments – how their death affects your sense of who you are
- – Spiritual Adjustments – how their death affects your beliefs, values, and assumptions about the world
TASK 4: TO FIND AN ENDURING CONNECTION WITH THE DECEASED WHILE LIVING LIFE
- We never have to forget or ‘get over’ the person who died because they will always be a part of us
- Our job in this task is to find a way to stay connected to the person while still being able to live and have room for other people in our lives.
- This can include talking to the person, asking them for advice, updating them on what is going on in your life, making something they loved part of a family or personal routine, continuing to celebrate their birthday and anniversaries, identifying/recognizing ways they have influenced what you do and who you are We do not work on these tasks sequentially or even one at a time. Often, we will need to revisit and work on the same tasks again and again throughout our lifetime.
Published on Jun 13 2016