If you are feeling alone and having a range of emotions during the lockdown, then you are not the only one that is going through these situations. Whenever we lose someone or something we love, we mourn and cry a lot. It is a part of our human nature, but what will happen if your guilt penetrates through the edge of your grief? 

Maybe that’s when you will start feeling disenfranchised grief. But what is disenfranchised grief and what is the purpose of disenfranchised grief? Go through our blog to discover more about it. 

What Is Disenfranchised Grief?

Disenfranchised grief refers to the hidden grief or sorrow that becomes knowledgeable in normal society, but disenfranchised grief cannot be understood or acknowledged by others, which makes it particularly hard for people to process and go through it. Disenfranchised grief is grief that cannot be accepted as the legitimized one by society.

Causes of Disenfranchised Grief

The causes of disenfranchised grief cannot be described. It all depends on the way you emotionally react throughout your grieving process. Disenfranchised grief occurs when you have undergone the following situations 

  • The feeling that you are not entitled to mourning 
  • The feeling that you are not sad enough 
  • The feeling of not talking with anyone about your experience 
  • The feeling of not being able to find the meaning of your loss.
  • Having difficulty in authenticating your emotion/ feeling for grievance. 

Disenfranchised Grief Looks Like

We all know that grief is a normal process that undergoes recovery for a specific period of time due to heavy loss, but disenfranchised grief is a bit different and it can be recognized with the following symptoms. 

  • Loss of appetite
  • Deep feelings of sadness, despair, and loneliness
  • Having difficulty in concentrating and remembering things
  • Not being able to make decisions
  • Unusual changes in sleep patterns
  • Unwanted physical pain and muscle tension
  • Not being able to trust others
  • Unwanted anger, fear, and guilt
  • Feeling numb or nothing at all
  • Feeling guilt over your closed one loss

Disenfranchised Grief Examples

Generally, grief progresses through various stages. You can witness the disenfranchised grief in the following people. 

  • Women who go through miscarriage or loss of a child.
  • Healthcare workers who go through various pressure
  • Animal care workers or owners who lost their pets. 
  • Losing their loved one under various circumstances. 
  • Stigmatized deaths like suicide, abortion, or addiction. 
  • Non-death-related losses also come under disenfranchised grief. 
  • Coping up with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

How to Cope with Disenfranchised Grief

  • Seek Support 

You might have someone in your life who will always support and validate your feelings no matter what you go through. During those tougher times, you can seek that person’s support. It can be either your friend, family, or someone who knows you well. 

  • Mourning Ritual 

Ritual is common which helps people to overcome grief through all the process, but if you have lost a closer person to whom you can’t mourn publicly, then you can create your own method of mourning ritual which can help you out in moving forward. 

  • Ask for what you need 

Don’t hesitate to ask someone for help. You might have lost someone close to you through suicide or accident. People might find it difficult to discuss, even if you might need someone to discuss. You may not know what to ask and whom to ask. During that time, it is completely normal and you can ask for what you need. 

Both grief and loss are two different poles that process in a different way and they can be treated only by you. To protect yourself from disenfranchised grief, create your own mourning ritual or seek out family, friends, or professional help.