NEW HOPE Grief Support Community ©

This is some general information from the adult NEW HOPE GRIEF JOURNEY HANDBOOK

"Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted"  St. Matthew 5:4

Grieving stages/phases to the loss of a loved one, other losses or change.

4 Tasks of Mourning

Task I    To Accept the Reality of a Loss

Task II    To Experience the Pain of Grief

Task III    To Adjust to an Environment in which the Deceased is Missing

Task IV    To Withdraw Emotional Energy and Reinvest it in Another Relationship

1.)    Worden J. William, Grief Counselor and Grief Therapy, 1980, 7-17

What is Grief? What is Mourning?

 Grief is the response brought about by loss or change. It is not just the loss of a loved one, but also from the changes, in our lives such as divorce, moving, changing a job or career as well as situational changes. The difficulty in overcoming the effects of grief depends on the nature and depth of the loss. To feel and experience grief after the loss of someone we love and care for is normal, natural, and expected. It is a normal human reaction to loss or change. Grieving is done in a wide variety of ways involving the 4 dimensions of our lives: mental, social, spiritual and physical areas.

Grieving is recognized by psychiatry as a normal and necessary reaction to loss of someone we love. There are very complex reactions accompanied by a wide range of contradictory emotions and distorted behaviors.

 Because of the wide variety of behaviors and variety of human responses, grieving persons are often surprised, bewildered and perplexed by their seeming inability to recover or “feel normal.” Prior stressful crisis in the pas, now are somehow ineffective. The consequences are additional feelings of frustration, depression and even despair as their lives become increasingly dysfunctional. “Grief often surfaces as the underlying cause of various physical and mental aberrations.” People seek physical and mental health care without necessarily recognizing that there may be a grief issue underlying their particular physical and mental condition. Aaron Lazare, a psychiatrist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, estimates that 10-15% of the people who pass through the mental health clinics at the Massachusetts General Hospital have underneath their particular psychological condition, an unresolved grief reaction (Lazare, 1979).

Normal Grief Responses

Most people who suffer a loss, experience one or more of the following:

The personal experience of loss or change

 There are emotional reactions, stages or phases that the grieving person will experience following the death of the loved one.

 Emotional reactions, stages, or phases of grief:

The grieving person will experience these perhaps some but not all and not in any order. Grieving persons will revisit the emotional reactions to their loss many times over during the acute phase of their loss, in the first few years post-death of their loved one. Acute, raw grief endures for 1-2 years or a bit longer. One never gets over the death of a loved one but can get through it with the help of grief support groups. In the event of a person feeling “stuck” or prolonged in their grief, the help of professional counseling must be sought out.

The grieving person needs to know and rehearse often:

Everything you feel
And experience
In your grief
Is normal


You are not going crazy! 

Guidelines for Caring Friends of the Grieving Person 

  1. I will need you to just listen to me whatever I may be saying, and to accept me however I may be acting.
  2. I do not need your advice right now; I need your supportive listening.
  3. When I ask you to listen to me I need you to not say that I shouldn’t feel this way, that is trampling on my fragile feelings. Rejecting my feelings is rejecting me.
  4. As strange as it may seem to you when I ask you to listen to me and you try to solve my problems, you have failed to help me.
  5. I am not helpless during this time of loss and grieving. I may be discouraged, and faltering but not helpless. Doing something that I can and should be doing for myself contributes to my fears and feelings of inadequacy plus increases my sense of dependency.
  6. Please share with me your positive memories and experiences of my loved one, even if it makes me cry. This is good for me.
  7. My irrational feelings and awkward moments will make sense to you when you understand that this is how I am feeing, no matter how irrational they may seem to you.
  8. There are no magic words you could say, so relax and just let me be the grieving person I need to be.
  9. Prayer works wonderfully for the grieving person – God is my great listener.

Helping Grieving People 


  • Do let your genuine caring, emotions and concern show freely.

  • Do be available to listen, run errands, help with the Children or any other felt need that will be supportive help for the grieving person.

  • Do say you are sorry about what happened to their loved one and about their pain.

  • Do allow the grieving person to express as much grief as they are feeling at the moment and are willing to share.

  • Do talk about the special endearing qualities of the person they have lost.

  • Do give special attention to the members of the family at the funeral, and in the months to come. They are hurting also just as the grieving person.


  • Don’t avoid the grieving persona because of your own awkwardness or sense of helplessness.

  • Don’t allow your own grief for the loss of the person to cause you to avoid the grieving person.

  • Don’t say “I know how you feel.”

  • Don’t offer solutions of the replacement to them (they can always have another child or get married again).

  • Don’t avoid using the deceased person’s name because it may cause them to cry. Crying is normal, healthy, reaction of loss.

  • Don’t try to offer a positive reason for the death of the person.

For more information, you can contact New Hope Grief Support Community here:

New Hope Grief Support Community
 P.O. Box 8057, Long Beach, California 90808
 562-429-0075  /  Fax# 562-429-0076   / email:

Grief Support Handbooks are available for adults and children. Contact New Hope Grief Support Community to place your order.

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