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Dissonant Mourners, Expression of Internal Grief vs Outward Expression

Dissonant Mourners, Expression of Internal Grief vs Outward Expression

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in Blog, Comfort, Grief Relief, Grieving

Your ability to help a friend or relative through their grief can be more intentional than most.  You can actually come to their assistance with a few well thought out statements or questions.   Sometimes simply “giving them permission” to mourn by talking about it with them can help.  Some grieving styles need this.

Dissonant mourners encounter a conflict between the way they experience their grief internally and the way they express it outwardly, which produces a persistent discomfort and lack of harmony. The “dissonance” or conflict may be due to family, cultural or social traditions. Although their grief may be profound and strongly felt, they struggle to hide their true feelings in order to preserve the image they wish to project to the public. Others may condemn themselves and feel very guilty for not feeling whatever they think is expected of them to feel.

Often simply opening up the topic of mourning at the appropriate time can give freedom to a mourner who is “dissonant” in style.  “Tell me how your loved one died,” is a great way to open the subject.

In Concerned Interest;

David Knapp


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