Re-learning the World

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Relearning the World

Thomas Attig calls the grief process “relearning the world,” which he says involves nothing less than “finding our way in the world … [which] is not a matter of learning information about the world but learning to be and act in the world differently in light of our loss” (p.107, emphasis in the original). Attig outlines the major areas in which the world changes after a loved one’s death, any or all of which might be addressed in Personal Grief Coaching:

  • Changes in the physical world (objects, places … or physical health)
  • Changes in relationships with others still living (family, personal, work, social connections)
  • Changes in perspective on time (sense of past, present, future) and space (subjective “closeness to” or “distance from” life’s reference points)
  • Changes in spiritual “grounding” in the world (beliefs, purpose)
  • Changes in relationship with the deceased (love, connection)
  • Changes in identity (who we are as individuals)
Attig, T. (1996). How we grieve: Relearning the world. New York: Oxford University Press.