Once again, I am thinking about semantics and would appreciate your input. Don’t feel you have to answer all of the questions that follow in order to comment. Any response will be greatly appreciated, whether it directly answers one of the questions or comes at the topic from an angle I have not thought to ask about. Feel free to ask other questions in response.
Before I start asking, I know that this way of thinking with incessant and nit picky questioning frustrates and annoys some people. If you are one of those people, I hope you will bear with me or temporarily ignore me for this post, and then come back when I’m less annoying to you 🙂 . This is the way my brain thinks and sorts through things. It is not the only way nor necessarily the best way. But, it is how I think. And I find it helpful to be able to do so out loud and invite other people to contribute to what I am processing.
Now for some of my questions:
How do you define grief and mourning? How do you see them as similar and different?
Can a person get “stuck” in one or both of these states, and if so, how does that look? Is there a connection between grief or mourning and depression? Or is the loss of hope in depression something quite distinct from prolonged grief or mourning?
Can joy and peace coexist with one of these more easily than with the other? How about faith and hope? Do you think these “positive” emotions alleviate or relieve grief or mourning? If not, how do you see grief or mourning looking different with the presence of joy, peace, faith or hope, compared to the sadness of grief or mourning without joy, peace, faith or hope?
Are the sad genres of music more expressions of grief or mourning? Or something else?
What other similar words do you think of which fit into the same general domain? How do you see these words overlapping or contrasting?
When I read through the Psalms and the prophets, there is a frequent expression of sad emotions, which I think of as “lament”. Do you think such lamenting is expressing more grief or mourning, or does the word “lament” imply any expression of anguish, regardless of the type or degree of anguish?
Do you think people in general are more comfortable with either grief or mourning? What are some of the emotions that are stirred up in you as you see people walking through either grief or mourning? What is it about either of those emotions that is disconcerting or uncomfortable?
What do you think are some appropriate responses to either grief or mourning? Do they call for different or similar responses? (Admittedly, formulaic responses are rarely helpful, and that is not what I’m trying to establish here. I’m more thinking about generally the needs and pain being expressed by grief or mourning and whether one’s heart response would be different when listening to or sharing in grief vs. mourning).
Is either grief or mourning a more lonely place? Is one or the other more easily to enter into with another person or group of people?
What are some expressions of either grief or mourning which have moved you deeply–personal stories, memoirs, memorials, songs, poems? I’d love to hear either general categories or specific examples.