In spite of the significance of grief as a human response, research to expand knowledge of this phenomenon has been impeded by the existence of a conceptual problem. In this study, a comprehensive and systematic review of both current and classic literature concerning grief was conducted within the disciplines of nursing and medicine. Findings contributed to the definition of grief as a pervasive, highly individualized, dynamic process that often is discussed normatively within professional disciplines. This definition provides not only a synthesis of knowledge concerning grief but a reconceptualization that can promote efforts to clarify this important concept for nursing.