What is grief?
Grief is a human response to the loss of someone or something of value. Most commonly, grief is used to refer to the death of a loved one. The condition can manifest itself in a variety of ways, often causing feelings of sadness or loneliness. It can occur for a variety of reasons, but almost all of these reasons entail some kind of major life change. Some of the main causes of grief are discussed in a later section. The grieving process is a highly individualized undertaking, and healing occurs once you can understand, accept, and properly process your emotions.
Are grief and mourning the same thing?
There are several terms surrounding the grieving process, some of which include mourning and bereavement. It’s important to note that these terms do not denote the same concept. Let’s take a closer look at some of these terms:
- Grief involves your internal emotions, which arise in response to the loss at hand. Grief can be displayed in many different ways, including mental, emotional, social, and physical reactions. These responses will be explored in more detail when we discuss the symptoms of grief.
- Mourning is the outward expression of this internal struggle, which can be expressed through crying, conversation, journaling, art, and other techniques. Although the exact processes of mourning vary from person to person and culture to culture, mourning is generally described as the process by which a person learns to adapt to loss.
- Bereavement is considered the period of time during which grief and mourning occur. This period usually begins immediately following the loss. Its length and intensity depend upon the individual’s attachment to the person or thing lost, as well as the time spent anticipating the loss.