31st July, 2013

William Worden – Tasks of Grief

William Worden and Sr. Helen Culhane

Among the most well-known task models of mourning is that of J. William Worden. While attending a Conference in Canada Helen had the pleasure of meeting William.

The four tasks of mourning are as follows:

Task I: To Accept the Reality of the Loss
Task II: To Process the Pain of Grief
Task III: To Adjust to a World Without the Deceased
Task IV: To Find an Enduring Connection With the Deceased in the Midst of Embarking on a New Life

There is no set time line to completing these tasks, although they generally occur over months or years, not days or weeks. Worden points out that while it is essential to address these tasks to adjust to a loss, not every loss we experience challenges us in the same way. If you find a death is challenging you beyond your ability to cope with it, getting support from family, friends, clergy or a professional may help.

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