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Grief is a normal and natural response to any loss or change. It is an uniquely individual process that can be affected by variables such as the the cause of death, one's relationship with the deceased, and the age of the survivor. These may impact the ability of the mourner to cope with a loss. In his book, Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy, Dr. William Worden explains the grief process by identifying tasks that the mourner must complete in order to integrate the loss into life. These include acknowledging that the loss has occurred, emrbacing the pain of grief, adjusting to an environment without the deceased and investing in life once again.

"People are forever changed by the experience of grief in their lives. We, as humans, do not 'get over' our grief, but work to reconcile ourselves to living with it. Anyone who attempts to prescribe a specific time frame for the experience only creates another obstacle for the mourner to overcome."