To Grieve or To Mourn

migraineWith the sudden passing of one of the best friends two years ago, I have come to find that there is no right or wrong way to grieve or mourn. There is no appropriate set amount of time. There is no reason to tell anyone or to not tell everyone. How ever someone decides to cope with the sense of loss within their lives is entirely up to the individual. The thought of another anniversary of that day has brought these thoughts to the forefront of my mind because even two years later, I still grieve and mourn for the loss of my friend.

While in the throes of my mourning, I started to contemplate what grieving versus mourning really meant. Obviously, loss, sadness, emotional and mental suffering with possible physical pain, but I started to think of their actual definition and wondered if there was a significant difference in the two. What do you know? There is.

Dictionary.com says, “Grieve is the stronger word, implying deep mental suffering often endured alone and in silence but revealed by one’s aspect: to grieve over the loss (or death) of a friend. Mourn usually refers to manifesting sorrow outwardly, either with or without sincerity: to mourn publicly and wear black.”

So, I did what made sense to me. I categorized myself into a group based on the way I deal with the loss of my friend. I believe there are three types of people when it comes to feelings of loss. These types are points on a line spectrum, so there are those who may lean a little from the main point, but I’m sure most can find themselves closer to one point than another.

Boisterous Wailers

These are people who weep loudly for all to hear. They don’t care who is around, or where they are. When the mood strikes them, they will belt out their frustration with whatever sorrow has found them and force whoever or whatever is around them to feel and look the same. They throw things. They scream and curse everyone. These are the types of people who refuse to go through their pain alone, so the world will hear them during their pain.

Silent Sufferers

We all know these types of people. They are the kind who refuse to let anyone in during a time of loss. They push everyone away and insist they are dealing with their suffering when in reality, it weighs on them every moment of every day as they make their way silently through their new world of loss. You may never see these people act out, let alone discuss it. They see the world as full of pain, so why would anyone want to hear about theirs.

Hybrid Comfort Finders

I like to think I have developed a sense of the middle ground between the two aforementioned types of individuals. There are days where I just try to make it through, and there are days where I need help. There are days where I hope the neighbors don’t come to check on me and days where I can smile regardless of my heart breaking. All the days in between, the ones where I don’t believe I lean from this center ground, I find comfort in the beauty of my life. I hug my husband and daughter a little tighter. I eat an extra piece of chocolate, or watch a favorite movie. I find the things that make me happy, and for those few moments, the pain isn’t so heavy, and the world isn’t as dark.

Grieving, mourning; it’s all the same sense of loss. It’s how you make it through the day that matters.