Chapter 2: Why your grief may not be recognized


I've been there
Lynn speaks about how adult grief over a parent’s death is often unacknowledged.(3:22)Video transcript
The grief expert says
Chris MacKinnon, psychologist, explains about disenfranchised grief.(3:22)Video transcript

My grief is not about someone else’s death but about the death of the life I thought I was going to have.

When a baby dies, people don’t want to talk about it. It’s so horrible, they don’t know what to say.

I couldn’t understand why, after I landed my “dream job,” I felt so unhappy – and guilty. Wasn’t this what I wanted? Eventually, I realized that there were things I had lost and missed: colleagues, friends, even my old desk. It wasn’t until I acknowledged my grief that I was able to embrace “the dream.”

What is unrecognized grief?

Whenever someone or something important to you dies or is lost, you grieve. You may also grieve as you prepare for a loss, such as when someone has a terminal diagnosis or dementia, a companion pet is aging, or a career is about to end.

“Unrecognized grief” occurs when someone is experiencing grief, but it is not acknowledged or accepted by others (or even themselves). Sometimes this is also called “disenfranchised grief.”

Helpful resources
Examples of Disenfranchised Grief – What’