Grief, loss and bereavement are terms that are often used interchangeably. However, they do have distinct meanings.
To be bereaved means to have suffered a loss by death.
Grief represents all the emotions and reactions experienced after suffering a significant loss. A death of someone we feel strongly about, can cause us to fee the full extent of grief, particularly if that person was someone we loved or cared deeply about.
Loss represents all the emotions and reactions we experience when we lose someone or something that we value deeply (for example miscarriage, divorce). The initial loss, referred to as primary loss, may bring additional losses, referred to as secondary losses (for example loss of identity and significance, loss of income).
There is a widespread tendency to use the term interchangeably with the word ‘grief’ and to view it as the public and/or social expression of grief shaped by various factors, such as culture, religion, society, personal and philosophical values.