The mourning process is analyzed unifying the most significant contributions in psychiatry and dynamic psychology, psychosocial and anthropological thanatology, psycho-oncology and palliative medicine. The clinical aspects between diagnosis and prognosis, useful in defining how to prevent pathological tendencies, are discussed. The term "unresolved grief" is used in place of the definitions used in different fields and in the various editions of the DSM diagnostic manuals ("grief disorder", "pathological mourning", "complicated grief", etc.). Some models are described and compared vis-à-vis the DSMs’ definitions, highlighting the normality of suffering caused by death. The discussion on the relationships between risk and protective factors, depending on the different interventions (prevention, counseling and psychotherapy involving individuals, groups and communities) also hints at the possibility of introducing targeted paths of death education.
Keywords: Mourning, prolonged grief disorder, death education, prevention, psychological support