Unseen Passage: Grief and Mourning

There are times when everyone has to face grief. When someone dear to oneself dies, one is left in a state in which shock and grief overcome the ordinary life. One is left in a situation when one feels there is nothing one can do. Grief and mourning are not always associated with only death. It also happens with other types of losses. It could be the loss of one’s job, loss of one’s house or the loss of a close friend or a partner.

The best people who are able to cope with these are those, who come from cultures that have strict, formal and intensive mourning rituals. In India, we have diverse rituals which nowadays are being discarded. But these help in the crisis. The near and dear ones come to share the grief and apply balm with their words of solace. In mourning, it is an essential part of coming to terms with loss. There comes a time when one has to give up one’s grief and rejoin the mainstream of life. Mourning in itself passes through these phases. Firstly, it is in the nature of shock and disbelief. A feeling of numbness overtakes. The brain is not in a position to accept, it so happens that one expects the arrival of a loss thinking that nothing will change and he will be with the lost one. In second phase, one realises the truth that the loss has actually happened, and was not a dream. It is now that one feels the pain. Now one recollects the old moments and the memory of guilt creeps in.

Here, the affected person displays odd behaviour and has difficulty in eating and is unable to sleep. One may remain in this stage for weeks, months and sometimes for years. In the next phase,reflect from pain and negative feelings creep in. This leads to the positive side. Now one feels one must make alternative arrangements or replacements. Here, one is ready to cope with the situation. One knows that one cannot recover what he or she has lost but is conscious of the future accepting the loss and is ready for the alternative.

On passing through all the stages of grief, it seems that time has passed like a river under the bridge. This shows that mourning has been successful. One cannot forget the loss but comes to terms with reality.

Grieve with the person who is bereaved. This shows that you too value the mourning person. This gives a helping support and the bereaved person starts believing you. Your support to the bereaved should not stop after a few days. It may be needed for months. Assure the affected person that the feelings of grief will diminish and will not be the same always.

You will see, there comes a time when he or she has to be distracted from grief. Take him or her out for an outing especially away from the current situation. If he or she agrees, take the opportunity and let him or she join the leisurely ventures.

It is therefore, the duty of close relatives and friends to take the bereaved out of the depressing climate and give a fresh air of life and happy thoughts.

Q. Answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option.

  1. In the last phase of grief
    1. there is a relief from pain and negative feelings.
    2. there is still pain and grief.
    3. the person is ready to cope with the situations, ready to face reality.
    4. Both (1) and (3)
  2. One must grieve with the person who is bereaved to show
    1. that you too value mourned person.
    2. that you can distract him/her.
    3. you understand what your duty is.
    4. you are his/her well wisher.
  3. The person from grief displays
    1. sleeplessness.
    2. enjoys eating.
    3. difficulty in eating.
    4. Both (1) and (3)
  4. On passing through all the stages of grief
    1. time passes smoothly.
    2. time passes with difficulty.
    3. problems increase with time.
    4. the person accepts the reality.
  5. What can be done to distract him/her from grief?
    1. eat good food
    2. sleep for long hours
    3. go for an outing
    4. talk loudly
  6. The duty of close relatives and friends is to
    1. help the bereaved financially.
    2. create difficulty for the bereaved.
    3. take the bereaved out of difficulty.
    4. mourn with the bereaved.


  1. Both (1) and (3)
  2. that you too value mourned person.
  3. Both (1) and (3)
  4. the person accepts the reality.
  5. go for an outing
  6. take the bereaved out of difficulty.

Q. Answer the following questions.

  1. Grief and mourning are always associated with ______________.
  2. In India we have diverse ritual which nowadays are being ______________.
  3. Firstly, it is in the nature of shock and ______________.
  4. He cannot forget the ______________ but comes to terns with reality.
  5. Which words in the passage mean the same as the following?
    1. overcome (Para 2)
    2. shows (Para 3)


  1. death
  2. discarded
  3. disbelief
  4. loss
  5. Words are:
    1. overtakes
    2. displays

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