The choice is yours

Our website uses cookies. Some are essential for the website to operate, and others are for enhancing site navigation, analytics, or personalised marketing purposes.

We respect your privacy, so you can choose to ‘accept’ or ‘deny’ non-essential cookies, or you can customise your preferences here. View our cookie policy for more information.

Back to Resources

Disenfranchised Grief

Disenfranchised Grief
Download PDF

What is disenfranchised grief?

Disenfranchised grief is loss that may not be socially accepted, recognized or validated, such as: historic trauma, collective trauma, incarceration, deportation, not feeling supported in your identities, losses by suicide, homicide, or substance use, or when the relationship was not recognized resulting in not getting the support you need from family, friends, peers, or others in your life.

Tips on coping with disenfranchised grief

1. Know that your loss is valid

What you’re experiencing is grief and worthy of your grief reactions.

2. Find your support people

Find people in your lives that make you feel supported. Tell them how they can best support. Consider finding larger community support, such as a support group.

3. Consider a ritual to honor your grief

Create your own ritual that helps you reach a conclusion. This could be an art project, an altar, gardening, volunteering, or any activity that feels authentic to your grief.

4. Seek professional help

It is okay to seek out a therapist or psychiatrist for managing your loss if you feel like it is negatively impacting your life. Therapy can help you process and validate the grief you are feeling.