Grief vs Bereavement
The words grief, bereavement, and mourning are commonly used by people interchangeably as if they were synonyms. However, these words have slightly different meanings. Grief is the manner in which we react to loss of any kind while bereavement is the state in which we feel when we have lost something or someone. It is common and natural for us to feel hurt and sorry when someone whom we love leaves for his heavenly abode. Our response or reaction to this loss is called grief while the entire process of grief is referred to as bereavement. Let us take a closer look at the two related concepts.
Grief is an emotion that overcomes us when there is a sudden loss of a loved one in the family. In fact, grief is our emotional response to the loss of a loved one. Different people react differently to the loss or death of a loved one and grieve in a different manner. Grief is felt not only with the death of someone close or dear to us; we grieve whenever we feel a loss, when something dear to us is taken away from us. This is the case with miscarriages, stillbirth, even divorce and loss of employment for some people. Grief is considered normal and healthy response to a major loss in life. A lot of anguish and sorrow is felt by a person, but this leads to his emotional healing. So even if grief feels like a painful experience, it is actually for emotional betterment of an individual.
One can understand the concept of grief by comparing it with a physical wound. Loss of a loved one causes a mental wound that requires healing. The emotional response of grief helps us in achieving this healing of the wound and even though the deceased remains in our memories forever, the pain and hurt of having lost him is gone after a period of grieving. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and different people grieve differently to cope with the loss.
Bereavement is the state of being in grief and often described as the period after a loss during which a person feels grief. The length of bereavement is dependent upon how close the deceased was to the person mourning and also how much time the mourner spent anticipating the loss of the person before actual loss. This is important as prolonged illness of a dear one before death leaves a lot of grief in the mind of a person. Bereavement requires acceptance of the fact that your loss is real, and the person who has passed will not come back. Bereavement also requires suffering on the part of an individual as he has to bear the pain of grief for a time period. He has to learn to adjust to life without the deceased. Bereavement also requires learning to put less emotional energy in mourning and utilizing it in other works.
What is the difference between Grief and Bereavement?
• Grief is a feeling or emotion that is felt by us when there is a loss of a loved one. However, grief is also felt when something dear is taken away such as in divorce, loss of employment etc.
• Bereavement is the state of being in grief with there being different stages of bereavement.
• The feeling of grief is extreme just after the death of a dear one while a person learns to cope with the loss gradually.
• Bereavement process involves accepting the loss, coping with it, and learning to live and carry on with life. On the other hand, grief is the emotional response of an individual.