Trevor Hayley


Funeral and Life Memorial Celebrant

A Caring Presence for you and your family so you can Celebrate a Life

Servicing Greater Adelaide, Fleurieu, South Coast and Adelaide Hills Regions of South Australia



The Dual Process Approach

Grief is, because love is #6

I continue with this blog series on grief, and I trust it has been helpful. As I have shared through this series, grief is like untangling a ball of wool; there is no process. On saying this, there has been publications and research about grief that have provided some useful insight.

One such approach was identified by two Dutch researchers, Stroebe and Schut, who in 1995, presented their findings, suggesting people who are in grief need to oscillate between to states of being.

  1. One is the all encompassing emotional journey that a person experiences at a loss
  2. While the other is realising that life has to practically function, and needs to progress somehow.

On one hand, the emotional side can ‘take over’ and the person can neglect the practical side of living, and not want to face details of a day. They may stay in bed, with the curtains drawn. Life without the person is unbearable, making it difficult to function. There will be days like this, and it is in these times, a friend may be needed to do the shopping, cook food, and attend to other practical needs.

On the other hand, a person can become so into the details of each day, that they forget to grieve all together. Life becomes busy, and we think that we have ‘got over it, and moved on’ only to find that grief will catch up with us eventually. Grief is something that cannot be controlled, but it is something that is to be expected. It is unpredictable, and it is better to just ‘go with the flow.’

A person oscillates between the two, and may even deal with both issues at the same time. And as our grief journeys are all individual, there is no formula. It won’t be emotional one day, and get on with it the next. Grief is, because love is.

This commentary in this blog is intended to be general in nature. It is just some observations from one fellow traveller in life to another. If anything in this blog raises issues for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or consult with a trusted medical professional.

Photo by Tamara Bellis on Unsplash


Trevor Hayley
Servicing Greater Adelaide and Regional South Australia

Phone: 0409 107 372


ABN 73 737 609 724

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