What does grief mean


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What does grief mean?

Grief is one emotional responsewhich is often triggered by the death of a trusted person. Mourning is one individual Matter. Often the grief manifests itself in emotions such as sadness, reluctance or avoiding laughter. Sadness can also be signaled through clothing. Mourners from western cultures often wear during the mourning period dark or black clothing. Many bereaved relatives impose a period of restraint on themselves to honor the memory of the deceased.

Process of grief

In which phases does grief take place?

Often one speaks of grief as a process that mourners have to go through. In general, this process is used in four phases divided up. The Swiss psychologist Verena Kast has developed a well-known grief phase model. The following graphic gives you an initial overview of the four phases of mourning.

In the first phase, the “not wanting to believe”, mourners experience a state of shock. This is usually the first reaction to the loss of a loved one. Mourners then often fall into a kind of paralysis. This phase usually lasts a few hours to a few days.

This is followed by a particularly emotional phase. Depending on the personality and also depending on the type of death you may come across second phase Different feelings such as anger, fear, sadness, but also joy, e.g. that the suffering is now over, come to light. The mourner has many questions in his head and directs his feelings towards himself (“How did I deserve this?”) Or towards others (“How could you let that happen, God?”). Feelings of guilt, e.g. that the deceased could not be helped, can also arise.

In the third phase of mourning the mourner tries to re-establish a connection with the deceased. The grieving person visits important places, looks at memorabilia or wears the deceased's clothing, e.g. to take in the scent of the loved one again. In this phase, the mourner grapples with the loss and, as it were, reconciles with the situation. The loved one can be let go a little.

The fourth and final phase of mourning forms the return to everyday life. The mourner embarks on a kind of new beginning and accepts the loss of the deceased as a real person. The loved one receives a place in the memory and thus remains part of life, while the mourner tries to resume his familiar structures.


Who can help me in my grief?

The length of the mourning process can vary. The time can vary greatly depending on how familiar you are with the deceased. Popularly one speaks of a year of mourning. Under certain circumstances, a year can be too short, as the grief can break out again even after several months. If you are grieving, facilities such as grief centers can help you professional advisors help to better cope with the grieving process. A funeral service during the funeral can also be helpful for you to be able to say goodbye to the deceased.

Author: Anja Rohde - Image source: Header image © Kzenon / Fotolia.com, graphic mourning phases © Bestattungen.de

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