As promised, in my previous blog we will now look into other modes of grief.  Literature indicates, that with the increase of terminal illness diagnosis, the grief process took a different progression as it can start long before one loses their loved one.


Such illnesses entail various emotions along the journey. According to Dr. Barbara Okun and Dr. Joseph Nowinsk other modes of grief are crisis, unity, resolution and renewal. Let’s brush through them.

Crisis or disruption refers to the change in the everyday life after the loved one is diagnosed with terminal illness. Worry and anxiety emerge as the family adjusts to the change. During this time, the patient’s needs are given priority. These include adequate medical treatment, looking out for information required for the situation, seeking of social support and so on.

As the patient’s condition worsens, we tend to start preparing ourselves for the negative outcome. This is the time for settling any pending wishes or issues, in an attempt to set everything right before the loved on moves on. The stage of renewal commences with the preparation of the funeral and can last for a very long time through out life. We start to find a way to live without the loved one.

This brings us to an end on the topic of dealing with grief. My aim through out these three blogs was to help us understand how to deal with grief better. Moreover, I wanted to emphasize that it is normal to feel sad and long for the loved one, after all it is part of the process.


– Danica Cassar is a first year psychology student at the University of Malta. Her main interest in the field is play therapy and looks to further her career in the sector. Danica is an intern at