NACOS 2.4: Worden’s fourth task, which is to “Reinvest In the New Reality.”

NACOS 2.2: Worden’s second task, which is “Experience the pain of the loss”.

Topic #2: Recognizing patterns of grief in congregations and cultures utilizing William Worden’s Four Tasks of Mourning. Grief is defined as an adaptation to unwanted change.

2.4 Using the mental model of Worden’s Four Tasks of Mourning, consider how your congregation is coping with the loss of “the way we have always done it before” due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Who – an individual or a group – is an example of what it is like to be struggling with the fourth task (which is to “Reinvest In the New Reality”)?

QUOTE: Task Four – To Emotionally Relocate the Deceased and Move on with Life
The resolution of the major work of grieving takes place when the fourth task is completed. In simple language, “emotionally relocating” the deceased means moving from the feelings of loss and longing that accompany our awareness that the deceased is really gone from our lives forever to being able to hold the memory of that person in our hearts. They become a part of our lives in a way that allows us to go on living without them. We tend to be less conscious of the loss, less preoccupied with the deceased. Although there may always be times when sadness catches us off guard and we are reminded of how much this loss has affected us, what has happened is that we have let go of a great deal of the emotional energy we had tied up in the relationship with the deceased and it is now available to be invested elsewhere. Sometimes we invest that energy in other relationships; in other instances we may invest it in something that commemorates the life of the deceased.
As with the other three tasks, completion of this task is also related to the meaning of the deceased in our lives. If we have minimal investment in a relationship, we have little emotion to withdraw, so the process is less complex. If we were extremely invested in the deceased, the loss will have more meaning for us and it will take time to move on. [1]

REFLECTION:
What does it look like when someone is ready to live in the new reality of the Coronavirus pandemic? What behaviors do we see?

ASSIGNMENT QUESTION: (in the comments on Facebook)
Describe someone at this level, either in your life or in your congregation.
What would you do to help?

SOURCE – Footnotes:
[1]   Tasks of Grief, Maine.gov Suicide Prevention Program.
https://www.maine.gov/suicide/docs/Survivor-Kit/Tasks-Grief.pdf

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