A full transcript of episode 8, Disenfranchised Grief with Meghan Crozier, is available upon request.
Reckoning with our grief in a way that brings permission to the process is necessary, but it is very easy to dismiss our right and need to grieve. Disenfranchised or ambiguous grief affects everyone differently, and although we don’t want you to scour your life story for grief you may have overlooked, it is worth becoming aware of this concept so that in the future, you can embrace your need to grieve with compassion and grace for the journey.
Disenfranchised grief is empowered by judgment, against ourselves and from others. Learning to identify that judgment and lean against it with compassion is how we start to dismantle the incorrect notion that grief is not worth our time. Death is not the only event to cause grief in our stories, and we must wrestle with this unresolvable truth if we are to embrace our lives to the fullest.
Pauline Boss has written a few different books on the topic of ambiguous grief. This quick summary of her work gives us permission to ask the questions of the uncertainty – to embrace that which we cannot resolve. She writes:
“Ambiguous loss makes us feel incompetent. It erodes our sense of mastery and destroys our belief in the world as a fair, orderly, and manageable place. But if we learn to cope with uncertainty, we must realize that there are differing views of the world, even when that world is less challenged by ambiguity . . . If we are to turn the corner and cope with uncertain losses, we must first temper our hunger for mastery. This is the paradox.”
Before you go, please take a moment to pause. This work is no joke, and not for the faint of heart, but there is truly no single way to unwrap grief or find healing. By listening and engaging the idea of ambiguous or disenfranchised grief, you are agreeing that your heart is worth the trouble it might experience and the ongoing work of finding new ways to heal. Memories once set aside may bubble back to the surface.
Your present circumstances may seem a little more complicated than you thought, or perhaps even appear more clearly than before. Regardless of what this conversation has stirred in your life, remember this: You are a whole person, experiencing life & grief as two sides of the same coin. And you deserve to experience both sides to the fullest without interference. So grieve as you live – wildly, with hopeful anticipation for what’s to come, and gratitude for what was and what is.
Links + Resources from the episode:
- Connect with Meghan Crozier on Twitter, Instagram, or through ThePursuingLife.com.
- Read more by Pauline Boss
- Snag a copy of my book, Restorative Grief
- Connect with me on Twitter or Instagram @MandyCapehart
- Join The Restorative Grief Project, a private online grief coaching community
- Request an episode transcript through MandyCapehart.com