For the griever the future feels shattered; everything hoped for is broken and gone, lost like a broken mirror. The task is to feel, look at, tolerate that brokenness and gradually recreate a beautiful mosaic out of those shattered pieces of one’s life.

Some Ideas About Mourning and Loss

Family is like a mobile—when one part is moved or lost it upsets the equilibrium of the whole.
Dying is normal.
Mourning is the process of adapting to the losses in your life.
We are pulled into the future by the fantasies we design—these fantasies and future are fragmented by death and loss.
Mourning for a lost person is the mourning of that individual, the shared relationship, and the mourner’s own lifestyle.
Healing grief does not mean getting over the feeling of pain, loss, or missing. It is the development of coping to continue without the lost loved one; to take in the memories without the body of the lost loved one and then to re-invest in life and others.
Healing depends on the ability to feel the pain and cry out for help; to get a response, and develop inner resources.
Believe the death really happened. Be willing to experience the pain. Adjust to the environment minus the person lost. Re-invest emotional energy into new relationships, causes, and goals.

(Adapted from the work of William Worden: The Tasks of Grief)
M.J., New York

by David Fireman, LCSW