Religions on Grieving


Grief is not a one size only emotional feeling or as some describe, a lack of feeling, numbness.

In some religions/spiritual communities, traditions passed down from generations in some homes remain the same for centuries and in others they may change with the direction of the wind.

The manner in which many observe loss is strongly influenced by religious/spiritual backgrounds. Some religions believe in cremation while others prefer burial or require burial.  Some face grieving rituals that last long after the burial; others prefer to end the observances when the funeral is complete.  (Neither is wrong, it is a choice for the living to make.)

Eastern Orthodox Christians observe a forty-day mourning period.

Judaism, Orthodox, Conservative and Reform -bury their deceased within 24 hours of death unless death falls on the Erev Sabbath or the Eve prior to a holiday.  After burial the very pious Jews sit SHIVA (for seven days).  Mirrors are covered so the reflection of the deceased is not present, and mourners tear a piece of their clothing to identify that a piece of their heart and life has been ripped away.  Similar to the Eastern Orthodox Christians they observe a thirty-day mourning period.  This has been identified as a transition period.

The Mexican Culture prepares individuals to not fear death.  They believe in celebrating life while living.  However, they do commemorate lives and the spirits of their loved ones.

Catholics believe in the administration of the ‘last rites’ by a priest.  A proper mass is prepared for the funeral service and mourners touch, kiss, pray before the casket.

As many of us have merged our religious beliefs to fit our place in this world many of these customs may look different.  I tend to agree with the Mexican Culture if we live our lives in our best manner celebrating life with others while on this earth will care us into the spiritual world while those left behind will have memories to fill their hearts.


GRIEF BeLIEF is sharing various  religious websites with you to assist you with your GRIEF journey.  We each will experience our GRIEF similarly as well as differently!  Use these resources and podcast to face your emotions and understand there is no right or wrong way to define your choices.