3 grief models you need to know

Jan 31, 2022

As a funeral celebrant, it is your responsibility to create a suitable send-off for the deceased while providing comfort to those left behind. While you must ensure that you plan the funeral service according to the family’s wishes, you should also play an active role in helping the family heal from the loss. 


As such, you should have a clear understanding of the various grief models to help you walk with them through the grief period. Here are grief models you should know to guide you through your celebrancy career: 


The Kubler-Ross Grief Model 

As stipulated in the Kubler-Ross grief model, people grieve differently. People go through different stages of grief as they struggle to come to terms with the loss of a loved one. According to Kubler Ross, there are four stages of grief. People generally go through the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, and depression until they can finally accept the loss. 


There is no definite period for grieving as the grief period varies depending on individuals. In addition, people do not necessarily go through the stages in a fixed order. Different people will react differently to the loss of a loved one. 


The Task of Mourning Model 

This task of mourning model was popularized by J.William Worden. Worden argued that the person grieving has a task that calls for their active participation and commitment to help them heal from the loss. The model argues that the bereaved have to work towards the healing process by following the steps below:

  • Accept the loss
  • Find a way to deal with the pain and grief
  • Adjust to an environment without the deceased
  • Establish an enduring connection with the deceased as you start a new life


Just like the Kubler-Ross model, this model doesn’t have to follow a fixed order. Worden argued that one doesn’t have to complete the steps all at once, but can revisit the tasks until they heal from the loss.


Rando’s Six R Process of Mourning 

In her Six R’s process of mourning model, Theresa Rando divided the grieving process into three phases: the avoidance phase, the confrontation phase, and the accommodation phase. Each phase has some processes that have to be accomplished. 


The Avoidance Phase

As the bereaved tries to come to terms with the loss, they have to Recognize the loss of their loved one. In the process, the bereaved struggles to understand what happened and then try to internalize that their loved one is no more and must therefore get used to a life without them. 


The Confrontation Phase 

It is during this phase that the bereaved have to find ways to deal with the loss. They React to the separation and experience the powerful emotions of loss including secondary losses. The bereaved then Recollects and remembers the time spent with their loved one. They then Relinquish old attachments with their gone loved ones. This doesn’t mean that they forget their loved ones, but they have to get used to a life without them. 


The Accommodation Phase 

During this phase, the bereaved have to Readjust to the new world without forgetting the old world. They become comfortable with their new roles. Eventually, the bereaved Reinvests emotional energy and find ways to enjoy life once more. They may get new friends but this doesn’t mean that they replace their loved ones. 


The Takeaway

As you conduct funeral services, you must acknowledge that the bereaved are suffering emotionally and do your best to help them heal from the loss. You must have great public speaking skills and also know what to say and when to say it, to avoid hurting them more. 


If you need professional guidance in your celebrancy career, the International College of Professional Celebrants can help. For more information, call us today at 033 33 404 434, and we will be glad to help.