Funeral homes Westmont, PA, are necessary when you’re grieving. Grief is our body’s natural defense mechanism against losing someone close to our hearts. How a person grieves varies quite a lot from person to person but famous psychologist William Worden found that most grieving people go through certain phases.
Based on his research on terminally ill patients, Worden argued that mourners engage in four major tasks during the grief journey. These phases are:
- Acknowledge the reality of the loss
- Experience the pain of stress and grief
- Adapt to the changing environment without the loved one
- Establish a lasting connection while embarking on a new life
Note that a person can experience these phases in any order, separately, or even at the same time.
Here’s what you need to know about Worden’s four phases of grief.
Task 1: Accept the Loss
Hearing the news of your loved one’s death brings feelings of disbelief and shock. Your mind slowly processes the full weight of the loss – until you surrender to reality. From the initial outburst of denial emotions such as, “I can’t believe they’re gone.” Or “It can’t be happening.”, you embrace the reality that the loved one has left the world forever.
Funerals often play a key role in helping you acknowledge the loss and confront the grief and sorrow it accompanies.
Task 2: Acknowledge the pain of Loss
This phase is marked by intense feelings of pain and sorrow once you have accepted the loss. Worden believes that this task varies from person to person and that grief accompanies a range of mixed emotions.
Many people try to hide or run away from pain by consuming drugs or delving into isolation. Remember, avoidance is the antithesis of the healing process – and compounds your pain in the long-term. Don’t hold onto your emotions and embrace whatever you feel.
Task 3: Adjust to the New Environment
Waldon argues that this phase – much like every other task – may be different for every person. It entails taking on new roles and responsibilities, both in your personal and professional lives. At the outset, it may be difficult but with time, you adapt to the changing environment and try to fill the vacuum in your life created by the death of the loved one.
You start seeing the world from a different perspective when a close one suddenly leaves you. The event may impact each aspect of your life, inside and out, and may take years before you completely adjust to the changed reality.
At this point, you already have found ways to cope with the grief and sorrow of losing the loved one – and to move on with your life. “Embarking on” doesn’t mean forgetting the departed soul, instead it signifies finding the ways to keep their memory alive in your heart and mind.