Grief is a response to loss (while bereavement is the actual state of loss). Not just to death of somebody close, as it is commonly associated, but to any kind of loss - loss of a job, loss of love, loss of health, changing roles in the family, loss of dreams of what could be...
Grief is not just an emotional reaction. There might be physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, cultural, spiritual and philosophical dimensions.
Professor George Bonanno, who for more than 20 years was conducting research on grief and trauma, discovered that apart from sadness there are many, often surprising and counter intuitive, grief responses, such like laughter, celebration, bawdiness.
His scientific findings contradicted many popular concepts, such as Kübler-Ross model of the stages of grief or beliefs of therapeutic benefits of grief counselling after traumatic events, which, his research showed, could actually bring more harm than good.
Important subject of his studies was resilience (ability to cope with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status quickly). In opposition to resilience building programs of cognitive behavioural therapy, Bonanno believed that resilience is natural to humans and cannot be "taught".
Grief can be anticipatory, which means that it can occur before death (or another great loss) takes place.