The Six R’s of Grief Work

November 8, 2012
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Guest article contributed by: Caleb Wilde, CalebWilde.com

There’s a number of different grief models that have been proposed by various psychologists.  Some are good, some … not so much.

I’ve always advised that it’s dangerous to see grief work as linear.  Grief rarely works in a stage-by-stage process.  Rather, it’s usually cyclical.  We feel and think (x) for one week; the next week we feel and think (y); and then the next week we feel and think (x) again.  And we go in these cycles for years, maybe decades, maybe the rest of our lives.

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The following model of grief work — developed by Therese Rando – proposes linear stages of grief work … something that I don’t like.  Nevertheless, I think it can still be helpful to see these “Six R’s” and find a way we can relate to them:

This description of Rondo’s “Six R’s” is written by Kathryn Patricelli

  • Recognize the loss: First, people must experience their loss and understand that it has happened.
  • React: People react emotionally to their loss.
  • Recollect and Re-Experience: People may review memories of their lost relationship (events that occurred, places visited together, or day to day moments that were experienced together).
  • Relinquish: People begin to put their loss behind them, realizing and accepting that the world has truly changed and that there is no turning back.
  • Readjust: People begin the process of returning to daily life and the loss starts to feel less acute and sharp.
  • Reinvest: Ultimately, people re-enter the world, forming new relationships and commitments. They accept the changes that have occurred and move past them.

Caleb Wilde

I'm a sixth generation funeral director. I have a grad degree in Missional Theology. And I like to read and write. Connect with my writing and book plans by "liking" me on facebook. And keep tabs with my blog via subscription or twitter.
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