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Part IV: Helping Employees Cope with Wor... > Understanding The Tasks Of Mourning

Chapter 14. Understanding The Tasks Of Mourning

Earlier we discovered that anger, hurt, fear, confusion, guilt and shame are typical parts of the grief reaction. We have also studied the sequence of phases and stages experienced by a person dealing with the various reactions to loss or threatened loss. The grief reaction is a psychological trauma just as a wound or a burn is a physical trauma. The grief reaction process is an attempt to reestablish the individual’s emotional balance in the same way that physical healing reestablishes the body’s well-being. Thus, in order for individuals to recover their equilibrium, grieving behavior is necessary.

To complete the grief process, the person must address each of the Four Tasks of Mourning, as described by Harvard Psychologist Dr. J.William Worden. Failure to work on each of these Tasks will result in incomplete mourning, and the person will store unfinished loss pain (Worden, 1991).


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