Disenfranchised grief: The Grief without support

Have you ever shared about a “loss” related experience, and the answer was:

“At least be grateful that you have ….”

“But you really suffered in that relationship, it is good you…”

Whereas the statements maybe considered comforting, it is important to recognize that loss has taken place, which is likely to trigger grief. 


What is Disenfranchised Grief?

Also called hidden, disenfranchised is the kind of grief that is not validated and acknowledged by others or community members.

Unlike loss through death where grief is acknowledged and support provided, in the disenfranchised grief, there is often minimal support.

Some of the examples may include - miscarriage, loss of a house, job, health, divorce or relationship separation, loss of safety/independence, loss of a loved one to addiction, or even a pet.

Grief is often minimized hence those going through that kind of loss may end up receiving little support.

With minimal support and the painful loss not being recognized, it becomes hard to process and work through those experiences. Ultimately, the unprocessed grief, can lead to other complications like distorted grief.

The distorted grief may include extreme feelings of guilt, anger, perpetual sadness, hostility, depression and self-destructive behaviors, amongst other issues.