Right and Left-Brain Concept with Grief and Loss

This is a short description of some of the characteristics in individuals who are more dominant in right or left brain thinking.  We use both sides or hemispheres of our brain to process our life’s experiences.  Each person is wired differently and therefore has a different combination of character traits from each side.

People who use more of their right brain are often more creative, artistic and perhaps emotional or display these characteristics.  Conversely, those who are more left brain thinkers are often seen as very logical, rational and analytical.

When looking at this from the perspective of mourning and grieving, you may notice how different family members seem to grieve differently.

MOURNING is the OUTWARD expressions of grief people see such as;

crying, isolating self, what we wear etc.

GRIEF is the INTERNAL thoughts and feelings we experience; which include

the “Why” questions and the emotions of anger, sadness, fear numbness, shock etc.

We all view the world differently and with grief and loss we are no different.  I hope this gives you a different perspective from which to view grief and loss.  When helping your clients understand why their friends or family members don’t “get it” or don’t seem to understand them, this may be a reason why.

“I don’t know why my husband seems so cold and removed from me since our loss experience, I just keep crying”.  Have you heard this from your clients?  The husband is not trying to be insensitive; he processes the loss differently and may not know what to do in this situation for his wife.

“It seems as if my wife is crying every time I turn around.  I don’t know what to do to fix her or help her.  I spend much of my time trying to keep busy in the garage or being at work”.  His wife may be more right brain focused and he is more left brain focused.

There is no right or wrong here with how the brain works; remember we are all different and that is a good thing in the bigger scheme of life.  Where grief and loss are concerned it seems to be a problem for some people and situations.

Use this as an example and look up more information on right and left-brain processes if you need to.

All my best,

Barbara Gillett Saunders


Shine bright when helping others, they need you.