Bereavement is the period of grief and mourning after a death. When you grieve, it's part of the normal process of reacting to a loss. You may experience grief as a mental, physical, social or emotional reaction. Mental reactions can include anger, guilt, anxiety, sadness and despair. Physical reactions can include sleeping problems, changes in appetite, physical problems or illness.
How long bereavement lasts can depend on how close you were to the person who died, if the person's death was expected and other factors. Friends, family and faith may be sources of support. Grief counseling or grief therapy is also helpful to some people.
NIH: National Cancer Institute
- Coping with Grief: When a Loved One Dies (National Institutes of Health)
- Grief, Bereavement, and Coping with Loss (PDQ) (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- How to Deal with Grief (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) - PDF
- Understanding Grief and Loss (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
- Grieving Friends Often Find Support Online (04/26/2017, HealthDay)
- Kids Face Their Own Death Risks When a Sibling Dies (04/24/2017, HealthDay)
- Suicide Often Leaves Mental, Physical Woes in Surviving Spouse (03/22/2017, HealthDay)
- Bereaved Employee: Returning to Work (American Hospice Foundation)
- Complicated Grief (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Death at the Worksite: Helping Grieving Family Members (American Hospice Foundation)
- End of Life: Dealing with Grief and Confronting Painful Emotions (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- End of Life: Suicide Grief (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Grief: Coping with the Reminders After a Loss (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Grieving the Loss of a Sibling (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
- Helping a Grieving Parent (American Hospice Foundation)
- Mourning the Death of a Spouse (National Institute on Aging) Also in Spanish
- Pregnancy Loss: How to Cope (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Symptoms of Major Depression and Complicated Grief (American Cancer Society) Also in Spanish
- Understanding Grief within a Cultural Context (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
- Writing a Condolence Note (American Hospice Foundation)
- You Know You Are Getting Better When... (American Hospice Foundation)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder and Culture: Early and Prolonged Grief...
- Article: Self-Identity After Bereavement: Reduced Self-Clarity and Loss-Centrality in Emotional Problems...
- Article: Seeking Legitimacy for DSM-5: The Bereavement Exception as an Example...
- Bereavement -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Children and Grief (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) Also in Spanish
- Helping Grieving Children and Teenagers (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
- Helping Your Child Deal with Death (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- How Children Understand Death & What You Should Say (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in Spanish