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Grief Terminology


Day 27: Grief Terminology

When we have a have a name for something, it can help provide a sense of control, especially in a time of massive uncertainty and strife.


Grief is derived from the Middle English word, Gref, which means weight. I came to learn about in one of my all time favorite grief books, About Grief by Ron Marasco and Brian Shuff.


What I have learned from the people I sit with everyday is that grief is not one thing. At its core, it is a reaction to loss and whenever there is loss plus change, grief can arise. When the level of loss and change are significant, this can produce deep grief.


Additionally, I speak of grief as the internal process and feelings related to the loss, whereas mourning is what I call “grief gone public,” or the outward presentation of grief. The distinction is important as the outward processing of grief in some way is what allows one’s grief to move and shift towards healing. I often spend time with folks assisting them to find what their mourning might look like, and this often involves figuring out how to stay connected to their person.


Finally, bereavement is that period after a loss during which we are actively mourning. While I don’t believe our mourning process ever ends, I have observed that it does shift from a place of action and constancy, to one in which the internal relationship with their person is more accessible and trusted.


Welcome to my #100dayproject. I am providing a daily offering on #grief, in honor of each person who has trusted me with their story and wisdom during their #griefjourney. I hope that others may benefit from simple and straightforward talk about a topic that can be difficult. Thanks for following and/or sharing.

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