Coping with Grief and Mourning, Bereavement and Loss Therapists in Greensboro
You’ve probably heard the words “grief”, “bereavement”, “mourning” and “loss” used when describing a death. It is easy to assume that they mean the same thing. But while they are often used interchangeably and can overlap, they are different. Knowing the difference can help you understand the grieving process.
Loss is the actual losing of someone or some thing. When someone refers to a loss, they are most often referring to the death of a loved one. “He recently suffered the loss of his mother.” “She recently lost her beloved dog.”
Loss can also be attributed to the end or absence of things such as the end of a relationship or even a job. Whether the term “death” or “loss” is used often depends on the context and cultural influences.
Bereavement is a term used to describe the objective situation a person faces following the death of a loved on. It is generally used to describe the period of being in grief and mourning following a death. “She has suffered two bereavements just this year.”
Grief or grieving is the term used to describe the overall way we experience of a loss internally. The focus here is on the individual’s internal emotional processing of the loss. We experience loss emotionally, physically, cognitively, socially and spiritually. How we handle grief is unique to each person. The thoughts and feelings we experience can be quite intense and sometimes can impede functioning. Some people handle grief well. Others struggle with finding ways to accept and cope with the loss.
Mourning is the “how” of grief. It is the external or public expression of grief. The way we mourn is largely determined by the traditions and values and mores of our culture, our family, our community, or our spiritual practices. For example, wearing black for a designated time in some cultures signifies a person in mourning. In other cultures, burning memorial candles or saying specific prayers for a designated time represents a time of mourning.
Grief and mourning go hand-in-hand. Because they are internal and external representations of the loss, they can influence each other and they can be difficult to separate. The important thing to know here is that the expression of grief, whether internal or external, can sometimes be intense, painful and confusing.
When Grief Counseling Can Help
Losing a loved one is never easy and can be quite confusing. Understanding the things you are experiencing can help ease the pain and set you on the path to healing and peace.
Greensboro Grief Counseling is here to help. The experienced and compassionate counselors at Greensboro Grief Counseling understand the dynamics of grieving and are able to help you begin the healing process. Take the first step to healing. Call us today for your confidential appointment.