Bereavement 2021-06-08T09:39:56-07:00

bereavement support

What is the difference between bereavement vs grief?

Grief is the normal process of reacting to a loss. Grief can be in response to a physical loss, such as a death, or a social loss including a relationship or job. Bereavement is the period after a loss during which grief and mourning occurs. The time spent in bereavement for the loss of a loved one depends on the circumstances of the loss and the level of attachment to the person who died

Grief is unique for each person, yet there are some common grief responses:


  • Deep Fatigue
  • Sleep disruption
  • Appetite disturbance
  • Shortness of breath
  • Panic attacks
  • Tightness in throat or chest
  • Stomach pain and/or upset


  • Disbelief that loved one won’t return
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Poor Concentration
  • Sensing loved ones presence
  • Wishing for dreams or dreams of deceased
  • Current loss triggers renewed grief from previous deaths or losses


  • Desire to withdraw socially
  • Avoiding situations that arouse grief
  • Assuming new roles and losing others, e.g. becoming a “widow(er)”, or “orphan.”
  • Concern about burdening others  with ones grief
  • Need to tell and retell story of loss


  • Questioning meaning and purpose in life
  • Receiving “messages” from deceased
  • Feeling betrayed by ones higher power
  • Questions about the afterlife:
    • Where are they now?
    • Are they okay?
    • Can they see or hear me?
    • Will I see them again?
    • What will happen when I die


  • Riding an “emotional roller coaster”
  • Irritability
  • Extreme emotional vulnerability
  • Loneliness
  • Anger at deceased, medical staff or others
  • Guilt or regret about things that happened or didn’t happen
  • Apathy: feeling that “nothing’s any good.”
  • Fear that feeling happy disrespects or diminishes memory of deceased
  • Desire to join deceased
  • Relief that care-giving stress is over, or that deceased is no longer suffering


  • Assuming new responsibilities and losing others
  • Compulsion to “stay busy”
  • Difficulty completing tasks
  • Keeping deceased’s belongings intact
  • Looking at photos or videos
  • Listening to audio recordings of deceased
  • Talking to or searching for the deceased