After a loved one dies, you are likely to feel a complex surge of emotion. And in that time of grief you may hear two words that sound similar but have different meanings. The words "grief" and "mourning" are often used interchangeably even though they have different definitions. However, these words do not mean the same thing and knowing the difference can be very important to moving on from the loss of a loved one.
"Grief" are the feelings and emotions tied to the loss of a loved one. Grieving includes and is not limited to crying, feelings of disappointment and anger associated with the loss of a loved one, sadness, feeling alone or isolated. "Mourning" on the other hand are the actions associated with grief. Mourning includes funeral services, visitations and wakes, graveside visits and services and other memorialization efforts.
Here are a few examples. Grief is crying at a funeral while mourning is wearing all black to the funeral service. Grief is feeling sad or upset at the mention of a lost loved one's name while mourning is holding a graveside visitation on the anniversary of a lost loved one.
Separating the two concepts can help make the grieving process a little easier. Knowing that mourning is the physical manifestation of grief can help put a timeline to your feelings of grief. Mourning helps us contextualize grief. Mourning helps give you a way to work through the feelings associated with grief. A funeral service may help give you an outlet to help you cope with grief. Grief may help you understand why you are emotional during a memorial service. Grief helps us move through loss.
Understanding the differences between grief and mourning can provide the tools needed to help work through your grief. When we have lost a loved one, most of us would prefer to ignore the feelings of grief. But mourning for many is enough to help them move through those feelings and emotions. However for some after something as painful and traumatic as losing a loved one occurs, more care is required. Our website and funeral home have resources available to help those who are coping with the loss of a loved one.
We are here for you ... lean on us in your time of grief.