Grief loss

Grief starts with Attachment

  • Attachment & Grief (John Bowlby)
    • If the goal of attachment behavior is to maintain an affectional bond, situations that endanger this bond give rise to certain very specific reactions.
    • The greater the potential for loss, the more intense and the more varied these reactions are.
    • β€œIn such circumstances, all the most powerful forms of attachment behavior – become activated clinging, crying, and perhaps angry coercion.”
    • When these actions are successful, the bond is restored, the activities cease and the states of stress and distress are alleviated (Bowlby, 1977a, p. 429).

Grief & Attachment

  • Bowlbys Phases of grief:
    • Numb disbelief, yearning for the deceased, disorganization and despair, re-organization, carving out a new normal life.
    • People go through a painful period of searching for what has been lost before releasing attachment to the person who died and moving forward.
    • Rehearsal, during disorganization stage of events preceding loss as if to set them right.

Bereavement, Grief & Mourning

  • Definition of Terms:
    • Use the term grief to indicate the experience of one who has lost a loved one to death. (Worden, 2009)
    • Grief is a term that can be applied to other losses,
    • Mourning is the term applied to the process that one goes through in adapting to the death of the person.
    • Bereavement defines the loss to which the person is trying to adapt.



Worden, J. W. (2009). Grief counseling and grief therapy: A handbook for the mental health practitioner. (4th ed.) Springer Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.