Four Tasks of Mourning (J. William Worden 2009)
Worden describes the “tasks” of mourning, implying that grief requires work.
The four tasks are:
- Accept the reality of the loss.
- Process the pain of grief.
- Adjust to a world without the person who has died.
- Connect to find an enduring connection with the person who has died, while embarking on a new life.
These four tasks are part of healthy grief, however there is no time limit and grief does not necessarily follow a linear sequence. Pupils will go back and forth as they grapple with these tasks. It can be very difficult for bereaved pupils to find an enduring connection with the person who died if everyone around them feels afraid or unwilling to mention this person.
Thinking in terms of “tasks” should remind us that grief is hard work and bereaved pupils may well be exhausted by their grief.