The classic four tasks of mourning of Worden are critical to the understanding of the process of grief. It involves the initial shock of acceptance, dealing with the grief, adjusting to it and forming a connection with the deceased that still permits one to form new relationships and live life. It is very similar to Kubler Ross ideals as well.
Unlike past grief theories which saw grief itself as an issue and pathology that needed removed, Worden’s tasks see grief as an instrumental part of dealing with loss. He sees grief as natural and something that must be dealt with and understood. Ultimately the price of grief is love. When we love, we form bonds. When those bonds are utterly torn apart, we experience loss. The pain associated with loss is grief. It is perfectly natural and hence, the stronger the bond, the stronger the grief.
It is important to deal with our grief. We cannot avoid the tasks of grieving or we will never recover a balance in life. A balance that permits one to acknowledge the loss, grieve it and miss, but also cherish it and live life. If one is grieving, it is essentially to review these tasks and ensure that one is properly dealing with one’s grief and working through it.
“What’s Your Grief” presented an excellent article on the topic. Entitled, “Worden’s Four Tasks of Mourning” by Litsa Williams discusses the four tasks in greater detail. The article states,
“As we mentioned in that post, Kubler-Ross’s Five Stage model really put grief theory on the map by opening up the conversation about the dying process, death, and grief. Over the years other theories have emerged, many of which have transitioned from the concept of “stages” to the concept of “tasks”.
These tasks are best formulated by Worden. The article is quick to point out that this is a fluid process and any strict adherence can allude the subjective nature of grief of the particular individual. To read the entire article, please click here
For more knowledge and study on the science of grief and for those seeking certification as a Grief Counselor, then please review the American Academy of Grief Counseling and its Grief Counseling Certification. The program is online and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.