- Kenneth Doka, Disenfranchised Grief: Recognizing Hidden Sorrow
I’ve been hard at work reading and researching and stumbled upon Kenneth Doka’s work about disenfranchised grief. His work touched my heart as many estranged people not only live with the very practical realities of relationship loss, they also do so with very little acknowledgement or support.
I have spoken previously about estrangement as a “dirty secret” – something that has happened and keeps happening to us, that we cannot speak of openly for fear of judgement or misunderstanding. Estrangement often carries with it shame – for those who have been estranged from, but also for many who have chosen to estrange.
When our grief is disenfranchised, we feel forbidden to grieve and we lose the opportunity to participate in family or community rituals that allow the expression of our beliefs, thoughts and feelings about the loss of someone we may once have cared for or loved deeply and maybe still do.