Disenfranchised grief is described as grief that cannot be openly expressed to others. It is a grief that society does not acknowledge or accepts. The grief or sadness can be uncomfortable to others. Examples of disenfranchised grief; loss of a limb, loss of a pet also a loss of a job. The grief reactions from death of a spouse is considered “normal” grief. But the death of an ex spouse can be considered a disenfranchising grief. I will discuss the loss of an ex spouse, analyze factors that disenfranchise the loss as well as the ways the loss complicates grief. What happens when ones ex spouse dies? Do you attend the funeral services, takes days off from work or cry? Society does not regcnoize nor accept ex spousal death as normal or shall I say should not be talked about. There have been little research conducted supporting the grieving patterns of the loss of an ex spouse. Losing an ex- spouse can be rewarding for some but very painful for others. The grieving process will depend on the circumstances and the relationship between the former spouses. A major complicating factor of ex- spousal death, in my opinipon is divorce. Divorce is also considered a disenfranchised grief. According to the Census Bureau, the median age at first marriage has risen from 23 for men and 20 for women in 1950 to 28 for men and 26 for women in 2009. Recent surveys have shown that divorce rates in the US now lowering due to factors such as completing college, starting careers, and finding the right person to marry. With that being stated divorce still happens among marriages and it affects more than just two people, children, friends, and even pets.
Doka (1986) conducted in-depth interviews with eight surviving ex-spouses focusing on grief reactions to divorce and death and social dislocations adding to bereavement when death follows divorce. Guilt, anger, regret, role ambiguity, and discomfort were found in response to the divorce and death. Doka (1986) emphasized...
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