Mourning can be described as the process of adaptation or adjustmentto the loss.
It is necessary to point the difference out between those words, which are often used interchangeably.
They are related but not synonymous.
In the last post, I talked about grief as being a ‘necessary evil’ due to the fact that we assign or attach value and make emotional investments in other people (or things, ideas, or abstractions). When we lose someone important in our personal lives, we react at first. We are hurt, saddened, devastated. But we cannot remain in this state of being in perpetuity; we need to find ways…
Grief is the normal reaction and response to loss. The loss can be due to a death, divorce, loss of a job, loss of custody of a child, or anything involving the separation of the individual from someone or something important to them. Often, when we think of grief, we only think of death, but the loss of a relationship can feel exactly like death to many people.
It can be quite scary and alarming to watch someone in the deepest throes of profound grief. Often, people will become almost paralyzed with uncertainty about how to help, or what is normal. Sometimes, normal grief can become “complicated grief” in which grief becomes debilitating and does not improve over time. In complicated grief, painful emotions are so long lasting and severe that a person cannot accept the loss and resume their life.
On the flip side, many times a grieving person will hide away the true extent of their suffering. The people around them may not know how much pain they are in, and how much support they really need.
I received a very compelling and thought provoking comment on my post, They Don’t Want to Die. They Just Want Attention. You can read the entire comment, as well as my reply there. But to sum up, Wren challenged my use of the phrase “suicide survivor” as applying to those left behind after the suicide of a loved one. Here is an excerpt of that comment:
“I know what people mean when they say “suicide survivor” – that a loved one has taken their own life. I’m unaware of any other disease or condition that people die from where others call themselves “survivors of.” Relatives of people who have died of cancer don’t call themselves “cancer survivors.” Instead, they have lost a loved one TO cancer…
The closest I ever came to committing suicide involved holding a loaded gun to my head. It was a few weeks after my fiancée, Dan, had committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. When my finger touched the trigger, it was pure exhilaration. There was no sadness, no despair, no darkness. It was pure joy. When I began to increase the pressure on the trigger, everything that had ever been in my life just opened up and fell away from me.