How To Grieve When No One Understands

There’s a kind of grief that no one talks about because society doesn’t consider all losses equally grief-worthy. So when someone tells you to “get over it,” remember that you deserve support.

How To Grieve When No One Understands
Via Unsplash

Grief doesn't have anyone's name on it. Disenfranchised grief is "a loss that's not openly acknowledged, socially mourned, or publicly supported."

We might feel disenfranchised grief when our pet dies. We might also feel it when we lose a job. When a relationship ends, it can leave a space for disenfranchised grief to fill. 

A pregnancy loss or suicide can also result in disenfranchised grief because the circumstances surrounding deaths like these can leave the bereaved feeling isolated and unsupported. All of these losses deserve to be acknowledged and grieved.

Society has unwritten rules for processing grief, which don't work for us because of the systems impacting our realities. We can grieve, but not too long, too deeply, or in certain ways. But grief, especially disenfranchised grief, is complex, so each of us must process ours in our own way. 

If you are struggling with a loss, look for a therapist specializing in grief counseling. Lean on your community. Tell folks what you need and how they can support you. If you prefer to grieve privately, consider creating a ritual of your own to honor the loss—journaling, planting flowers or a tree, donating, or even getting a tattoo. 

We don't have to “get over” our loss but we must move through it. How is grief showing up for you in the season? In what ways can you grow through it?

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