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Forums / Grief and loss / Disenfranchised grief

Topic: Disenfranchised grief

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Guest_342
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Guest_342 avatar
    195 posts
    6 May 2021
    Has anyone here experienced disenfranchised grief (i.e. grief that is not widely recognised in society of being as worthy of grief as other things - e.g. loss of a pet, loss of a non-immediate relative, missing out on parenthood, death of an ex-partner, etc) and do you have any tips on how to deal with it? Do you have thoughts as to why some of these things are not considered by society as noteworthy losses? I struggle with some of these things sometimes.
    2 people found this helpful
  2. S D
    Valued Contributor
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    S D avatar
    58 posts
    7 May 2021 in reply to Guest_342

    Hi Gelati,

    Yep. Also i'm deeply sorry for your loss and hope you're doing okay, if you want to share a little bit more about your grief i'm here to listen. In terms of how to deal with it, everyone is different and you'll need to find something that feels authentic to you. For example, some people find a sense of peace in visiting the grave of a lost loved one, however for others this could make things feel worse. I'm in the latter camp and what has been more meaningful for me was to do things like write songs about my lost loved ones and do something in their honour that I know they would have loved, for example, for my most recent experience of grief this person loved gardening and growing vegetables, therefore something i've found special is continuing their love of growing things by starting my own little veggie garden. Hope this helps!

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Guest_342
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Guest_342 avatar
    195 posts
    8 May 2021 in reply to S D

    Hi SD,

    Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions. The veggie patch idea is lovely :)

    Have a nice weekend.

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Imarni
    Imarni avatar
    13 posts
    16 May 2021 in reply to Guest_342

    I wasn’t sure what it meant. Maybe 5 miscarriages. They were a good while ago now but st the time I grieved all the hope I had, particularly hard for the later ones as I thought might take.

    My pet grief is worse than human grief for me and I’ve lost parents so I can compare. Completely different but I struggle and feel sadder at pets. I have one friend doesn’t get it. I avoid her for a bit.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Cron_Crust
    Cron_Crust avatar
    14 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to Guest_342

    Hi Gelati,

    Sorry to hear about your loss, how are you doing right now?

    Your post really spoke to me as I'm experiencing the loss of a grandparent at the moment, who would be considered a non-immediate relative. My grandpa was a very important person in my life, he was someone who for me was a sort of role model. I've felt that sense of disenfranchised grief that you mentioned at times. I've been attending therapy to talk through some of it.

    With regard to your question about why some types of grief are not noteworthy, I've wondered the same thing. It seems to me that categorising grief is purely for the convenience of/ not disrupt or offend societal norms. Things like you must grieve for a particular amount of time, cry immediately at the sight of a departed loved one, only react with great emotion at the death of immediate relatives, keep emotions private, etc,. But, there really isn't one right way to grieve, or express emotion. Something that's tolerable for one person may be painful for another.

    I have not known many people who seemed happy to comply by these norms. They mostly just did it to avoid judgement from 'others', these 'others' who probably themselves keep up appearances to avoid judgement. In my experience, adhering closely to such societal standards results in people consciously or subconsciously upholding me to such standards. Again, I could be mistaken in my view but this is what I've come up with so far.

    This must be a difficult time for you right now but if there is anything you'd like to talk about with me please let me know.

    Take care,


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