The 2-way Grief Model represents the day-to-day life of a person coping with bereavement.

A zigzag line shows how moving between 2 processes (and spending time in both) is a normal part of experiencing bereavement.

Process 1: Time spent facing the reality of the loss; this can involve:

  • Grieving, crying, thinking about the person who has died and feeling different emotions like anger or guilt.
  • Sorting out a will or any financial or property issues.
  • Dealing with a change of circumstance such as living alone or a reduced income, for example.
  • Experiencing the grief of further losses which are a result of the bereavement – such as the loss of being a mother, partner or daughter, for example, or the loss of other relationships or family ties connected to the person who died.
  • Comforting other family members or friends who are grieving and perhaps dealing with strained or difficult family relationships. During this time you may find it hard to think about investing in a future life without the person who has died.

Process 2: Time spent continuing with everyday life and starting to adapt and recover; this can involve:

  • Doing everyday tasks like cooking, doing the washing, going to work or taking the kids to school.
  • Adjusting to practical changes such as taking on new roles from the person who died such as managing your finances, making the kids’ lunch or doing the gardening.
  • Doing some social activities like taking a family outing, seeing friends or going shopping, for example.
  • Doing new things like joining a social group, finding new interests or making new friends.

During this time you may find some distraction and relief from grieving and start to adjust to your loss.