Coping with grief


About Grief

In the process of mourning, some factors seem to cause the bereaved to repeatedly sink deeper into sorrow, even though they appear to be moving forward. But that does not mean they retreat to a new bereaved state. They do understand the new reality, recognize the new life without the deceased, and manage their new life, roles and relationships, while they recall memories of the deceased.

 

The grief process described by Stroebe (1999) involves a balanced oscillation between two complementary sets of coping processes; one is “loss oriented” or concerned primarily in coping with loss, and the other is “restoration oriented” or concerned primarily in coping with attending to life changes.

 

The “loss oriented” processes involves one’s mourning work while feeling pain and sorrow. On the other hand, the “restoration oriented” processes include developing a new way of life, distracting oneself from grief, and living productively with their new roles.

 

The time required for completion of the coping process depends heavily on one’s talents and past experiences. It is important for each bereaved person to maintain their own pace for recovery, without comparing it to others.

 

*Mourning work refers to the activities which help the bereaved feel comfortable in grief process, such as crying, talking with others, or sitting in front of a home alter.

 

*Stroebe, M. and Schut, H. (1999) The Dual Process Model of Coping with Bereavement. Death Studies 23:197-224.