4 tasks to heal after loss…

It’s been 90 days since I heard my moms laugh. There are some days that I still can’t believe that she is gone. It’s been 90 excruciatingly long days. I am in the throws of grief,  finding some relief and other days not so much. Frankly, this experience has opened my eyes as a healer.  I am always trying to find the bigger purse of this journey. I am starting to believe that I am going through this to help and support others. So, rather than wallow today (maybe tomorrow is a wallow day, who knows) I offer this article, about a book by William Worden “tasks of mourning”, to continue explore our “loss journey”. He sees this as a process we must actively participate in. So here’s to starting our active process:
  1. Accept the Loss- “the mourner should face reality that the death happened and the person will not come back. Some people however refuse to believe that the death happened causing them to be in denial thus getting stuck in this first task”. (This might feel a little clinical and harsh but I get the sentiment. This is much like the last stage of the “Stages of Loss” with Kubler-Ross. see below for a link about these stages)
  2. Process the Pain of Grief “the person needs to acknowledge and work through their pain. If they do not, then they will carry the pain with them throughout their lives and the pain can manifest into physical symptoms”
  3. Adjust without the Deceased “three areas of adjustment needs to be addressed: external, internal and spiritual adjustment. External adjustment usually develops around 3 to 4 months after the loss and involves coming to terms with being alone and having to adjust to the different roles played by the deceased. This could mean that the person takes on the role of being the bread winner, the accountant, gardener, mother, father, etc. In internal adjustment, it is important for the person to adjust to their own sense of self. In other words, how the death has affected their self efficacy. For the mourner, it is important to address “Who am I now?” Spiritual adjustment simply means the adjustment one has to the world. Searching for meaning and its life changes in order to make sense and regain control of their life”. (We do have to ask ourselves these questions. What does this mean for me, what is the meaning of this, etc)
  4. Live effectively in the world by finding a place for the deceased in your emotional life. This means that the mourner should find ways to remember the deceased without it getting in the way of continuing one’s life”. (I love this idea! I like to find connections in daily life/ nature that help me feel connected to my mother. I might bake something my mother loved or go for a walk and look for something she would have commented about. We also have pictures of her and we talk to it (don’t judge). Believe me she had comments for everything. Lets face it, our loved ones would want us to heal and be happy.)

! Keep us posted on your journey…Happy Healing, folks

Resources:

– stages of loss with Kubler- Ross- http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-5-stages-of-loss-and-grief/000617

-William Worden’s site- http://www.whatsyourgrief.com/wordens-four-tasks-of-mourning/

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