4 mins read

The Difference Between Grief & Mourning

Here in the UK the impact of the official mourning period is felt by everyone. No matter our personal opinion and no matter how we view the Monarchy in general, we still feel this impact, the change that has come over our country. A day before the Queen died I had a dream of running from an enormous heavy cloud that had impacted the earth and sent rubble flying across the land. We all ran. But when the rubble hit us it didn’t physically hurt us and somehow we knew it wouldn’t but as it touched each and every person who ran it changed us, something was new and different and we didn’t know how to act or feel in this new terrain and we all stopped running and stood looking dazedly at each other. Before the cloud everything was the same. Afterwards it was soil after rain – uneven and not quite stable.

When you have a dream like that and then some defining event happens it makes you reflective. But it also makes those of us who are aware of it, really alert. Alert to the energetic effect of mass grief. Grief is not good for us – it is the lowest vibrational energetic level we can go to. When a lot of people energetically dip at the same time, this cannot be a good thing. I am not denying grief exists, I am in it myself – I believe it has to be acknowledged, managed and countered – most unlike the outpouring of grief that is currently happening on a large scale.

I’ve been wanting the country and indeed the world to re-work mourning in its entirety. In England Queen Victoria really pushed for anniversary and memoriam but in our country now we have a burial crisis – we are running out of room for ornate headstones, for long standing burial plots. And alongside the grim physicality of it all, with a period of mourning hints of a time limit on grief.

Anyone who has ever been in grief, not just right now but in a deeper, more personal grief, understands that it never really ends. The minute your loved one passes the start of your journey begins. And we have this time code of appropriateness in our minds on how long to admit it to the world – will it be a year? Two? Ten years? All these opinions collide. How long to spend mourning a loved one? The difference between grief and mourning lies only in what we allow to the outside world. What facets of our sorrow show?

I believe our grief journey lasts and it is not linear as most expect. I also believe that our idea of mourning will eventually evolve for the better. Life is for living, not memorialising. Of course we have different cultures and religions who mourn in opposite ways but the facts remain. One is dead, the rest are alive.

You can read more of this essay – available in the shop section very soon.

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