Chapter 2: Why your grief may not be recognized

Some possible reasons

The grief expert says
Fred Nelson, social worker, discusses situations where grief is not acknowledged.(3:22)Video transcript
Cara Grosset, clinical social worker, discusses how beliefs about who can grieve contribute to disenfranchised grief for people with intellectual disabilities. (3:22)Video transcript

I feel anger now. My whole life I stuffed anger down and never really expressed rage. There were a couple of times when I blew up, but usually I would just try to keep myself busy, cleaning the house or going to work in order not to feel.

When Tom died, I couldn’t tell anyone about my grief because we’d been having an affair for several years. I also couldn’t face going to his funeral.

When you're grieving, it can be especially hurtful if people dismiss your feelings. You may ask yourself why they’re acting a certain way or saying certain things to you. How do they decide what is unacceptable, inappropriate, or unworthy in the first place?

It’s not always the situation itself that results in unrecognized grief; more often, it’s the way the situation is understood or judged by other people that makes a difference. Click the arrows below to see some of the reasons for this.