When Grief Goes Unacknowledged

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, September 23, 2019

Grief can be born out of a lot of different factors through life. A loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship, being diagnosed with a terminal illness, and other major life changes can bring on feelings of grief. But when grief goes unnoticed or unacknowledged, either by you or your loved ones, it can be truly devastating.

When You Don’t Acknowledge Your Grief

Grief can be a difficult thing to take on when you are aware of it. Denial is the first stage of grief; and that doesn’t just apply to the cause of grief. Many people don’t fully realize they are suffering from grief until it really hits them. Recognizing that you are hurting is the first step to recovering, and moving towards acceptance. Acknowledging your grief allows you to start processing your emotions. 
Accepting that you are grieving, and realizing that the source of your pain has come from your loss may not make you feel any better. In fact, some people feel guilty or shameful for realizing that a lost loved one is the cause of such pain. It may not make it easier, but accepting that your grief and emotions are legitimate is the first step to processing them properly.

When Your Grief is Disenfranchised

Disenfranchised grief occurs when others around you are not accepting of your grief. This can be a matter of other’s indifference, lack of knowledge, or dismissal of your feelings. Your feelings towards a lost loved one are your own, but it may be hard for others to accept them. 
Disenfranchised grief often occurs when others don’t legitimize your feelings, because of the nature of your relationship with the deceased. A common example of this is when friends or family don’t understand why you are grieving the loss of an ex-husband. Deaths from socially controversial causes, such as suicide or overdose, may be met with similar disenfranchizement. 

Overcoming Grief Despite Others

It is important to understand that no matter how others may react to or ignore your feelings of grief, that you are the one who has to process those emotions. Your feelings are your own, and you are allowed to grieve. Everyone processes loss differently, you can grieve in your own way. Feelings of loss are just something that you must face; with or without others acknowledging your struggle. Consider joining a grief support group, to find others who understand your hurt, and may be able to offer guidance and a helping hand. You may want to seek out a grief counsellor or therapist to help you legitimize your grief and to help begin your path to recovery during the mourning process.

The author of this post is not a professional therapist or counselor. For assistance in finding a grief counselor that is right for you, there are a number of resources out there. For our Grief Resource center, written by Dr. Bill Webster, click here

For almost 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way. 

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Grief and Dealing With Suicide

When faced with the loss of a loved one, the grief can be devastating. But when a loved one takes their own life, the grief that families feel afterward can often be complicated. According to the A...

Sunlight and Combatting Grief

As the weather gets warmer and summer is on the horizon, it is time for many people to schedule vacations and weekend outings. For people dealing with grief and depression, it may seem difficult to...

Grief and Selfishness

Grief is a complex emotional state. For many people, grief can bring out different sides of us. And while grief is not an excuse to act out, or be a bad person, it can often be a defense mechanism....

The First Mother's Day Without Her

Mother’s Day is a time we celebrate those who devoted their lives to caring for us, and for bringing us into the world. But it can also be a solemn reminder after the passing of your mother. The lo...

Can I be Both Cremated and Buried?

While most people assume you have to choose between burial or cremation at the end of life, there are more options available. One is to choose both. You can choose burial and cremation together. Be...

Retiring In Stages

Retiring at 65 has been a common aspect of the American lifestyle for generations, but full retirement at that age may not be in the cards for everyone. With costs of living consistently on the ris...

Funeral Planning for the LGBTQ+ Community

When it comes to end-of-life services, it is important to have a plan in order. This can be especially true for many LGBTQ+ people. In the event of your passing, your wishes should be upheld for yo...

Identifying Signs of A Stroke

Stroke is a leading cause of death in the US, killing 1 person in America every 3.5 minutes. The risk of stroke can increase as you age. For the safety of you and your loved ones, it is important t...

Donating Your Body To Science

Body donation is a process that very few Americans decide to participate in. But, it is a practice that can lead to advances in medical science, improved medical training procedures, and more. This...

Using Coping Mechanisms for Grief

When you hear the term “Coping Mechanism,” it is often in a negative context. However, that is not always the case. Coping mechanisms can help you deal with the short-term effects of grief. When us...