Bereavement and Grief

Learn more about bereavement and grief at Gold Star Legacy.

Bereavement and Grief
Posted on 6/16/2022

The death of a loved one is always difficult. When that death results from a war or disaster, it may be even more troubling given the sudden and potentially violent nature of the event. After the death of someone you love, you experience bereavement, which literally means, "to be deprived by death." You may experience a wide range of emotions, including, but not limited to:

  • Denial
  • Disbelief
  • Confusion
  • Shock
  • Sadness
  • Yearning
  • Anger
  • Humiliation
  • Despair
  • Guilt

These feelings are common reactions to loss. Many people also report physical symptoms of acute grief - stomach pain, loss of appetite, intestinal discomfort, sleep disturbances, and/or loss of energy. Of all life's stresses, mourning can be one of the most testing to your natural defense systems. Existing illnesses can worsen or new conditions may develop. Profound emotional reactions may include anxiety attacks, chronic fatigue, depression, and/or thoughts of suicide.

Mourning is the natural process through which a person copes with a major loss. The mourning process may include military or religious traditions honoring the dead, or the gathering of friends and family to share in the loss. Mourning is personal and may last months or even years. Grieving is the outward expression of your loss. Your grief is likely to be expressed both physically and psychologically. For example, crying is a physical expression, while depression is a psychological expression.

Be aware that coping with a death may necessitate major life adjustments such as parenting alone, adjusting to single life, or returning to work. These challenges may intensify any anxiety and grief you are already experiencing. Allow yourself to express these feelings.


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