In previous articles, I have analyzed the emotion of grief as a normative phenomenon, which is extended beyond the individual to encompass the bereaved person’s body and sociocultural affective niche. The present article complements these analyses with a developmental perspective, focusing on the phenomenon of learning to grieve. First, a distinction between reaction and response theories of emotion is introduced with arguments in favor of the latter. Next, different examples of childhood experiences of grief are analyzed, demonstrating that early experiences of loss are typically scaffolded socially, when the child finds herself in a situation of not understanding exactly what to do or how to feel. This lends support to the normative approach to grief specifically and to emotional life more broadly. Furthermore, early experiences of grief were found to be significantly linked to other emotions, particularly guilt.