Grief & Mourning . . . A Course: Introduction

“Teach me about your grief and I will be with you.
As you teach me I will follow your lead,
and be an empathetic and soothing presence.” – Anonymous


“I lost my son 6 months ago and I still cry all the time.  When will this end?”

“People tell me I should be better now, that I need to stop talking about my husband and move on with my life.  I feel so alone.”

“My family and friends don’t want me to talk about my mother anymore.  They say I should get over it and start living again.  It’s been almost a year now and I’m not getting any better.”

“I can’t function any more.  Sometimes I can’t get out of bed.  What’s wrong with me?”

We hear these kinds of statements a lot from our donor families.  They are talking about their grief.  These are very common expressions of grief, and yet most people don’t know or understand that.  When they learn that these experiences are normal for one who is grieving the loss of a beloved they are surprised — and relieved.

If you have never experienced the loss of a loved one you cannot know what grief and mourning is like.  We hope this course will help.


The intention of this Course is:

  • to provide information — an education — about the experience and process of grief and mourning;
  • to help you know that you are not alone in this experience — that is normal;
  • to provide you with information to navigate your personal grief journey and gradually create a “new normal” that works for you;
  • to offer an opportunity to reflect on your experience in order to better understand your personal experience of grief and mourning.


The word “course” is defined as:

  • a direction or route taken or to be taken;
  • the path, route, or channel along which anything moves: the course of a stream;
  • advance or progression in a particular direction; forward or onward movement;

Notice that nowhere in the definition is there a notion of an “end” or “destination”.  Rather it describes movement through.

This Course is not intended to replace professional help for those in need of such.  Should you find yourself overwhelmed or incapacitated by your grief, please consult a professional grief counselor or speak with your personal physician who may be able to assist you in locating one.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts and/or feelings, or are in a crisis mode, you can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7 or visit their website at

Links to the Lessons:

1.    Definition of Terms

2.    Five Myths of Grief

3.    What is Grief?

4.    Factors Affecting Grief

5.    What is Mourning

6.    Mourner’s Bill of Rights

7.    A Metaphor for Grief

8.    Loss Line

9.    Summary