Grief is the experience. Mourning is the expression of that grief. I like to refer to this as processing the grief, which leads us to bereavement. The word “bereaved” means to be torn apart and to have special needs. Using this definition, all of us at one time qualify as bereaved. Because all of us experience Grief in some way, it is a universal concept. And there are some general ways that people mourn their grief. Most people think of the emotions. But not everyone mourns that way. Some process their grief cognitively. They have to make sense of it or find meaning in what happened. Still others need to mourn through physical activity. Pounding the pavement in a run can take provide just enough distraction to make the grief manageable. So because we are all unique individuals our grief journeys will look different. And the grief journey for each loss will look different because of the relationship a person has with it.
There are some general trends though. First is coming to terms with the loss. I have found that is where the most diversity is, depending on a person’s mourning style. Then there is a phase of acknowledgement and acceptance. Then curiosity and leaning in to the grief. As people learn from their experiences the can begin to see that there can be Grief and Gratitude. And along the way sharing the journey with others can help in the healing process.
Let’s talk about this journey for a few lessons.