Processing Sadness & Grief

I’ve experience a recent loss and am curious about the emotions of sadness and grief. As I am trying to process this emotion I open up to it and instantly start crying. My back curls, my chest caves in and I cry hard, like really hard until my ribs hurt. As I am crying i try to describe to myself what I am feeling, sometimes it get more intense sometimes it fades. Then… I breath. Sometimes it comes back in a few minutes sometimes hours.

Is the crying reacting to the emotion or part of the processing of it?
Thank you!