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While these words are used interchangeably, they have different meanings. Knowing how each relates to loss will help broaden your understanding of what it means to be a survivor.
BEREAVEMENT is an objective fact. It is the event of loss. You are bereaved when a person close to you dies. Bereavement is also a change in status. A child becomes an orphan, a wife a widow, a husband a widower.
GRIEF is a response to the loss. It is a process. It is how survivors feel, think, and make it through the day. It is not a word that can be taken as a simple explanation of what is experienced and why. Grief permeates all aspects of life.
MOURNING is the expression of a bereaved person’s thoughts and feelings. It describes the process by which a bereaved person integrates the loss into ongoing life.
Grief and mourning are the natural pathways toward coping with bereavement.
The Progression of Grief
Grief is challenging, difficult, and at times exhausting. You will grieve in an individual and personal way. There is no pattern to follow, timetable to adhere to, or models to measure yourself against. You own your grief, and what feels right to you is the right thing to do.
Some days you may feel that you are doing well, only to wake up the next morning and seemingly start the process from square one again. The goal is not to get over grief, but to live with it and to figure out a way to incorporate the loss into living and to keep your loved one alive in your memory.
There is no timetable for grieving.
Only you know how much time
you need to grieve.