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Grief and Bereavement Meaning

grief and bereavement meaning
Grief can negatively affect our state of mind and productivity.

Grief and Bereavement Meaning

A major cause of emotional elemental breakdown

With every death, there is a loss, and with every loss, there will be grief. You can still find love, peace, joy, and happiness after any form of grief, no matter the duration.

Grief can negatively affect our state of mind and productivity. Frequent occurrences of this emotional breakdown can lead to Depression, which is a Mental Disorder. Therefore, it is safe to say that negative emotions are one of the pathways to some mental disorders, depression, addictions, unproductivity, unhealthy lifestyles, losses, and many more.


It is the intense sorrow or pain we go through because of what we have lost. It also means our response to loss, especially the loss of a loved one. Other forms of loss are loss of relationships, marriage, visa, finances, contracts, documents, employment, properties, promotions, inheritance, political appointments or any form of appointments, positions, citizenship of another country, miscarriage, etc. These losses come with intense pain, sadness, guilt, anger, rage, despair, worry, anxiety, uncertainty, sorrow, and fear, which are all negative emotions.

The hardest form of grief is the loss of a loved one, a dependent, a child, or someone diagnosed with mental disorders or health issues. This is known as complicated grief. There are other types of grief, such as Anticipatory and Disenfranchised grief.


It means when someone or something is taken away from us forcefully or violently. It is a sudden event and could be the sudden death of a loved one through murder, accident, heart attack, natural disaster, etc. Note that we can also be bereaved of power, position, marriage, or appointment, and we react to these sudden events in different ways, especially with shock and numbness. Other reactions are anger, guilt, anxiety, denial, irrational thinking, crying, sobbing, or even relief.

*Therefore, Bereavement throws one into Grief. *

Stages of Grief

There are various stages of grief. Different people can experience all or some of the stages, and the experience varies according to the individual’s personality.

  1. The first stage of grief is the Denial stage. It serves as a defense mechanism, a safe zone, and a buffer.
  2. The second stage is the Anger stage. It is where the feeling of guilt sets in, and you begin to ask all the *why me* questions.
  3. The third stage is the Bargaining stage. You gradually return to clearer thoughts and begin asking all the *what if * questions.
  4. The fourth stage is Depression. Regrets and deep sadness set in, and they begin to affect sleep, state of mind, productivity, relationships with others, lifestyle, etc.
  5. The fifth stage is the Acceptance stage. It is the winning and grieving stage. It is when you have come to terms with your loss and accept going through all the emotional pains that come with it.
Stages of grief and bereavement
Stages of grief and bereavement


  1. Someone experiencing grief can show some physical symptoms like low energy, weakness, dry mouth, breathing difficulty, heaviness in the chest or throat, hollow feeling in the stomach, etc.
  2. The psychological symptoms of grief are distress, isolation, confusion, yearning for attention, intense dwelling on the past, anxiety, etc.
  3. Grief also has triggers, such as dates like anniversaries, birthdays, and locations.
  4. Children are aware of death through cartoons, dead pets, or people in the family. We should pay attention to them whenever grief occurs.
  5. Adolescents have a good understanding of grief, and it can throw them into negative behaviors, anger, or guilt, especially when they are not carried along in their healing process.

I want us to get into the practical aspect of grief as it relates more to us today.

Types of anxiety disorderNatural Grief vs. self-inflicted Grief

Let us look at what I term Natural Grief Vs. Self – Inflicted Grief

Natural grief or loss is the loss we encounter due to no fault of ours. It could be retirement age, natural death of a loved one, loss of property due to natural disasters, etc.

Self-inflicted grief is the loss we encounter due to our carelessness, mistakes, ignorance, negligence, and bad emotional management, especially in relationships, marriages, visa applications, property acquisition, finances, workplaces, documents, etc. It can also occur because of failed expectations or unhealthy competition with others.

Natural grief comes with its traumas, pains, and emotions. But, self-inflicted grief carries more intense negative emotions, thereby making one’s life full of regrets, guilt, blame, powerlessness, rage, and self-hatred, and can easily lead to suicidal thoughts.

Self-inflicted grief can also come from not managing our positive emotions better (feelings like joy, hopefulness, happiness), especially when positive things happen or are about to happen in our lives like marriage proposals, acquiring a visa, proposed appointment or promotion, contract signing, etc. if we suddenly lose those things, it becomes shameful, sorrowful and traumatic to us probably because we have told a lot of people.

*Most times, we feel terrible not necessarily because of what we lost but because of the people we have told*.

With each loss in our lives, we should pause and identify our emotions. Find out why you have such emotions, especially when they are self-inflicted. Only then can you begin to manage, cope, and live with them.

How to cope with Grief and Bereavement

  1. Accept your loss. Own it. Express your feelings and come to terms with the situation.
  2. Talk about it only with your trusted and caring friends or family members.
  3. Don’t dwell on the triggers; instead, mark the losses creatively by writing a poem, listening to music, visiting someone with a gift, etc.
  4. Regain your self-love and confidence by engaging in your passions.
  5. Adopt a healthy lifestyle by engaging in meditation, physical & mental exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep.
  6. Talk to a Therapist or a Doctor, especially when it starts affecting your productivity, or you start noticing symptoms like frequent mood swings, fatigue, low energy, suicidal thoughts, loss or lack of sleep, etc.
  7. Stop ignoring your emotions. Start recognizing them so that you can manage them better.
  8. Learn that there is no time frame for grief. Heal at your own pace.
  9. Know that you may never recover completely from any form of grief, but you can cope and live with it.
  10. You can seek out and join a support group.

Ways to manage Children’s & Adolescents Grieving Process

  1. Talk and explain to them what death or loss is all about.
  2. Please help them to feel protected in any possible way.
  3. Help them understand that what happened is real and that it is OK to feel emotional about it.
  4. Help them understand that there is no return from death and that they will not see their loved one again on earth.
  5. Recognize the child’s sense of relationship with others or the environment.
  6. Watch out for possible symptoms of depression in your child, such as reduced or increased appetite, insomnia or hypersonic, low energy, poor self-esteem, feeling hopeless, difficulty concentrating, etc.


In a nutshell, accept your loss, identify all the emotions that you feel, and manage them better to avoid any form of emotional or mental breakdown.

Denial delays Healing!

Treasure your Mental Health!

  1. What is anxiety? Anxiety is a natural response to stress or danger. It’s the body’s way of preparing to face a challenge. However, when it becomes excessive or persistent, it can interfere with daily life.
  2. How do I know if I have anxiety or just everyday stress? While stress is a normal part of life, anxiety tends to be more intense and prolonged. If you worry excessively, experience physical symptoms like a racing heart or muscle tension, and interfere with your daily activities, it might be anxiety.
  3. Can anxiety be cured? Anxiety is often a chronic condition, but it can be managed effectively with therapy, medication, or a combination of both. While a complete “cure” might not be possible, many people find significant relief with the proper treatment.
  4. Can lifestyle changes help with anxiety? Yes, lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and stress .management techniques like mindfulness or meditation can help alleviate anxiety symptoms.
  5. Can anxiety be prevented? While it might not be entirely preventable, adopting healthy coping mechanisms, managing stress effectively, and seeking support can reduce the risk of developing chronic anxiety.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) consists of flashbacks and feelings of sadness, anger, or fear.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Depression is a persistent feeling of sadness.

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Schizophrenia is characterized by disconnect from reality.


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