What happens when grief is unacknowledged? What is its effect on a person? Unacknowledged grief is referred to as disenfranchised grief. It hinders a person to grieve for the loss of a loved one. Grieving for the loss of a parent or sibling or a spouse is a normal thing. However, there are several factors that restrict or limit people from doing so.
Causes of Unacknowledged or Disenfranchised Grief:
Family traditions on holidays are usually kept year after year. Although people are aware of your loss, they may expect it that you participate in the tradition. Celebrations happen here and there, leaving you alone in your grief. The worst thing about it is that they require you to celebrate with them, not knowing that the grieving process is not yet over on your part. In addition, other family members set a time limit for your grief and bereavement or send funeral flowers if they are not able to attend the services. All these cause disenfranchised grief which ends up prolonged grief.
Cause of Death is Socially Unacceptable
Another reason why people suffer from disenfranchised grief or unacknowledged grief is a socially unacceptable cause of death such as AIDS or similar cases. The judgmental criticism of people around you may hinder you to grieve completely for a sibling or parent or spouse or child on his or her death.
Relationship to Deceased Person Is Confidential
In the event that a person, with whom you have a secret and confidential relationship, suddenly passed away, you cannot easily show off your deep emotions of grief and mourning. It can be more painful to suppress your emotions in front of the public because you do not want people to judge you or to question why you are deeply affected.
Self-caused Disenfranchised Grief
Those people who fail to recognize your pain may also include you. You probably stop yourself from recognizing your own feelings and emotions when you think that it is embarrassing if people find you crying over and over again.
How to Cope Up Unacknowledged Grief:
Recognize your own grief and be honest about how you feel, even if no one understands.
There is nothing wrong with grieving and mourning. If it is easier for you to process bereavement by crying and feeling sad, do not suppress it. You don’t have to be conscious of how people will feel when you burst your emotions as long as you don’t hurt other people. Family traditions are probably unstoppable but you can honestly tell your family of your emotions and thoughts about it. If you think it will not help you, you don’t have to do it. On the other hand, if you feel like celebrating, just enjoy the season.
Your support system can help you.
Do not push your support system away. They are the people who can understand your situation. Even if they do not say the words that you want to hear, or they do not agree on what you are doing, you can count on them during your difficult time. Your family and closest friends can be your support system, and they are more than willing to listen to your sentiments.
Help yourself by giving importance to health, physically and mentally.
The best way to cope up and recover from grief is to consider your physical and mental health. You may have lost your appetite because you are sad or you cannot sleep soundly because of loneliness and emptiness. By doing so, your health will eventually fail. It’s not too late to start over even if it means you are alone. There are things that you still have to do and accomplish, and you can never do that if your health suffers from depression due to unacknowledged grief. In addition, you can ask for professional medical help if needed.
Talk to the right person.
The right person to talk to is the one who can give you professional help. Whether you need mental help or physical help, talking about your grief and the pain you suffer from helps. Just like how physical wounds need cleaning in order to prevent getting infected, psychological wounds also need cleansing in order to be healed emotionally. This can be done by talking about it to the right person.
On the other hand, it may be uncomfortable to tell someone how you feel, especially if you do not know the person personally. Talking about death and about losing a loved one is such a painful experience. However, avoiding talking about it can be unhealthy too, which is why experts urge people to discuss grief and pain.
You can benefit from it when you discuss your grief. It allows you to bring out your feelings so that you can easily deal with it and find the right way to resolve your issues. In addition, it will also allow you to burst out your anger and pour out your hatred. When you talk it out with a friend or with a family member, you develop a connection and avoid being isolated, thus effects on emotional and mental health can be prevented.
There are grief counselors who can help you deal with grief and help in the healing process. By talking about your pain and emotions with a professional counselor, you can help yourself heal from all the negative feelings and find ways to move forward in your life. If you are physically and mentally stable, you can give your deceased loved one a meaningful tribute or commemoration.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.