There is an important distinction. As humans, we move toward integrating loss into our lives no just by grieving, but by mourning. We move toward "reconciliation" not just by grieving, but through active and intentional mourning.
Grief is the constellation of internal thoughts and feelings we have when someone we love dies. Think of grief as the container. It holds all of your thoughts, feelings, and images of your experience when you are bereaved. In other words, grief is the internal meaning given to the experience of loss.
Mourning is when you take the grief you have on the inside and express it outside of yourself. Another way of defining mourning is "grief gone public" or "the outward expression of grief." Talk about the person who died, crying, expressing your thoughts and feelings through art or music, or celebrating special anniversary dates that held meaning for the person who died are just a few examples of mourning.
Please, just let me talk
Ask me about my deceased loved one
Let me tell you his/her story
Hold me and let me cry
Don't be afraid of my silences
Offer to do something specific for me versus asking me to contact you if I need anything
Valentine’s Day full force retail campaigns pushing romance and couple-hood can bring grief issues up full force for those
who have lost their significant other to death. The constant barrage of happy couples pledging their unfailing love can bring up painful or bittersweet memories.
Remember to be kind to yourself, if grief is tugging on your heart today. Allow yourself to truly feel whatever emotions come up be it sadness, longing, or cherished memories. Death doesn’t mean an end to the love you shared, it just forces a change in the way you express it.
Consider developing some new routines or a new perspective on the holiday. Keep your heart open by reaching out to others via volunteering, performing acts of services, or treating others. Reach out to others if your heart is struggling on this professed day of love. Love comes in all forms and fashions and from all kinds of places.
“It was God's will”
“I know just how you feel”
“Don't take it so hard”
“Let's not talk about it”
“I don't want to make you cry”
“It has been a year since he/she died; Aren't you over it yet?”
“Be grateful you still have your other children”
“ God picks the most beautiful flowers first”
“We are never given more than we can handle”
“God needs him/her more than you do”
“Call me if there is anything I can do”
“You must be strong for your children (or spouse)”
“It’s going to be OK”
Our support groups are facilitated by volunteers who have received 20 hours of training on grief/loss issues. For each structured group, two/three facilitators will guide the age appropriate process and activities. Each family member will be working through the same goals and objectives with the support and encouragement of their peers and the trained facilitators. This allows the entire family the opportunity to understand the journey of the grief and to travel the road together. This Grief and Mourning process promotes healing the heart of children, adults and families!
We are blessed to have an incredible group of volunteers giving of their time and talent to make a difference in hurting hearts. Thank you to all!
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