Grief is our own personal experience of a loss. Everyone grieves differently. What is a natural part of life can often be a devasting, shattering experience. The grief process can be approached in different ways: either by going through stages of grief, phases of grief, or working through tasks associated with grieving.
- Stages. Many people are familiar with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s stages of dying that have been applied to a model of the grief process: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.
- Phases. A person passes through a period of numbness; a period of yearning for the lost to return often accompanied by anger; a period of disorganization or despair during which time it is difficult to function; and finally a more resolved period when one can get his or her life back together.
- Tasks. This approach involves accepting the reality of the loss; processing the pain of grief; adjusting to a world without the deceased; and finding an enduring connection with the deceased while embarking on a new life (Worden, 2009).
Phases seem like something that you have to pass through, where Tasks imply that you need to take action and do something to deal with the loss. I can provide hope and facilitate these tasks. I can bear witness to your pain and help you accept and process your loss.
The only way out is through.