The Six R’s of Grief Work
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.
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.