Bereavement care is an essential part of working with palliative care. Most reactions to bereavement are natural and do not require treatment. However, some bereaved persons develop more complicated symptoms for which treatment is necessary in order to avoid pathological disorder.

As there is no diagnostic category for complicated grief, the clinical implications can be undifferentiated intervention for the bereaved person, the danger of medicalizing bereavement and the lack of clinical guidelines for bereavement care in hospital wards.

At the same time, in Denmark the understanding of bereavement has traditionally been Freudian, which possibly entails certain shortcomings. The article presents a revised model of understanding and coping with bereavement – the Dual Process Model. The implementation of the model by a palliative care team is discussed.