Sunday, May 2, 2010


Bereavement or mourning is a process not a state, which occurs after the loss of a loved one. Grief refers to the personal experience of the loss. Bereavement or loss can occur for many reasons. It can happen the death of a spouse, child, parent, sibling, close friend, or after a miscarriage. It can happen due to the loss of the expectation of how your life was going to be, through career loss, financial trouble, infertility, family, relationship or marital break-up.

According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross the five stages of grief are:

1. Denial and isolation.
2. Anger.
3. Bargaining.
4. Depression.
5. Acceptance.

According to Worden (1982) after one sustains a loss there are certain tasks of mourning that must be worked through for balance to be re-established and for the process of mourning to be completed. These four tasks are the following:

1. To accept the reality of the loss.
2. To experience the pain of grief.
3. To adjust to an environment in which the deceased is missing.
4. To withdraw emotional energy from the deceased and reinvest it.

The overall goal of bereavement counselling when someone has died is to give the bereaved person time to talk about their loved one, to talk about their feelings of loss, to work in time towards a place of acceptance, and to help them to see that it is possible to continue on in life without forgetting their loved one, and knowing that they will always have a place in their life.