Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

Living Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Mourning and Grieving

  • Benson A. Mulemi
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27771-9_9192-1

The terms “mourning” and “grieving” refer to the personal experience and psychosocial expression of sorrow or grief. The outward social and emotional expressions of grief embody the notion of mourning. The expressions include weeping, social and religious performances in dirges and funeral rites, and wistful discourse about a deceased person or entity associated with perceived loss, and ascetic actions. Grieving, in contrast, denotes the inner personal, psychic experience of loss and emotional pain. The grief experience comprises individual and collective thoughts, religious discourse, and subjective inner feelings about loss and psychosomatic pain. Cross-cultural mourning and grieving involve both religious and social practices linked to quests for psychologically satisfying meanings of misfortune and grief. Mourning thus encompasses the visible personal and collective expressions of grief. Alternatively, grieving is an inherent psychological, behavioral, social, and physical process...

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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social Sciences & Development StudiesThe Catholic University of Eastern AfricaNairobiKenya