Grief is a natural, normal response to a loss. It is how we think and feel inside when someone we love dies. When someone we care about dies, our journey begins and grief is the path we must travel. Everyone’s grief experience is uniquely their own. There is no road map that tells us how to grieve.

Common Grief Experiences

  • Having a sense of shock
  • Confusion or disbelief
  • Feeling empty or numb
  • Physical effects such as nausea, loss of energy or difficulty sleeping
  • Feelings of anger, anxiety, guilt, sadness and loneliness

Tasks of Grief

According to William Worden, there are four experiences that we go through after the death of someone we care about.

  1. To accept that the death is real and that the person is not coming back.
  2. To allow ourselves to experience the pain of grief.
  3. To adjust to a new life where the deceased person is missing.
  4. To reinvest energy in life and form a new type of relationship with the deceased based on memory.


Mourning is when we let our thoughts and feelings go outside so others can know what we are experiencing. It is our public expression of what we feel and it is essential in our healing process.

Marty Hogan, L. M. (2009). Anticipatory Grief. Ashland: Sacred Vigil Press.
Marty Hogan, L. M. (2012). Tears in My Heart: A Guide to Helping Children and Teens During Times of Loss and Grief. Ashland: Sacred Vigil Press.