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The Back and Forth of Grief

Updated: 5 days ago

There have been many new ways of thinking about grief since Elisabeth Kübler-Ross developed the five stages of grief. One of these newer models is Stroebe and Schut’s Dual Process Model of Coping with Bereavement (2010).

What makes this model unique is that recognises that we don't go one way through grief. Instead we may be going back and forth between loss oriented and restoration oriented activities in our everyday life.

Some days we may be keeping busy, doing new things and putting the emotions of grief aside. Those are the times when we are restoration oriented in the sense of restoring a feeling of normalcy in our life. On other days we may feel overwhelmed by grief and longing for the person who died. Those are the times when we are loss oriented and engage in activities that focus on grief such as thinking about the person who died or missing our old life.

Many people find this model helpful because it describes how in even a single day we may be bouncing back and forth between restoration and loss-orientation and that it is perfectly normal as part of the grief process.


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