Models and Theories of Bereavement and Grief



There are many models and theories regarding bereavement and grief.

Experts have researched and tried to understand what people are going through during grief.

Many people have heard of the Kubler-Ross model that was developed based on research with individuals experiencing a terminal illness.

The model involves five stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Many grief experts have adapted the model with an understanding that grief is unique and not all people will go through all the stages and not in any particular order.


The Task of mourning by J. William Morden states that "the bereaved must work towards a healing process by; accepting the loss by; finding a way to deal with the pain and grief, adjusting to a new environment."

Theresa Rando’s divided grieving into three phases starting with avoidance, then confrontation, and finally accommodation.


During the avoidance phase, the task of the griever is recognition of the loss.

During the confrontation phase, she sates the tasks include reacting to the separation, remembering your time with your loved one, through the good and bad and processes the impact of your loved one’s absence.

The final stage of accommodation has the griever readjusting to the new world and reinvesting emotional energy into enjoying life again.


These models are helpful as they all recognize that grief is an emotional event.

It recognizes that mourners go through many kinds of feelings and adjustments during their journey. Some people just want to get rid of the pain and stop the tears. Once those are diminished, they feel everything should be okay. However, the tears are part of the process to get to that place of acceptance and adjustment to a new life without their loved one being physically with them.


That new life is also a personal decision on what it will look like and how the deceased fits into it.


Hospice Dufferin is here for you. We offer grief support through a variety of opportunities, including group and one-on-one support. Don't hesitate to reach out to us if you are experience grief.

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