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Bereavement, Grief, And Mourning

The word bereavement comes from a root word meaning "shorn off" or "torn up." It suggests that one has been deprived or robbed, dispossessed, left in a sad and lonely state. Bereavement is the state of being in which a person has suffered the death of a relative or friend.

Grief refers to the total range of emotions humans feel in response to a loss. The word suggests negative responses, including heartbreak, anguish, distress, guilt, shame, and thoughts of suicide. Grief also encompasses feelings of relief, anger, disgust, and self-pity.

Mourning is the expression of grief over someone's death. It is the process by which people incorporate the experience of loss into their ongoing lives. In mourning, a person searches for answers: How do I carry on in life? How do I survive this? Approaches to mourning are culturally prescribed: Each world culture has certain cultural "rules" for mourning in an appropriate manner. Mourning today is less formal than it was in the past, and so-called modern cultures are less formal in their rituals for mourning than traditional cultures.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Cyanohydrins to Departments of philosophy:Death - Defining Death, Bereavement, Grief, And Mourning, Why Must People Die?, Historical Perspectives