Disenfranchised grief occurs when we experience grief that is not generally recognized and validated by society. It can even cause the person experiencing it to question their feelings.
I've been there, and I continue to heal every day.
In 2020, after 5 miscarriages, I was exhausted, my hormones were a mess, I felt alone and like no one understood what I was going through. I couldn't imagine a future where I could be happy without having a child, and worst of all, I kept trying to convince myself that pregnancy loss and childlessness weren't a big deal. This challenge was amplified by other losses I hadn't processed, and other times I had felt grief, shame, and regret.
I tried talk therapy, self-help books, gardening, meditation, and while these things were helpful, none of them changed how sad and broken I felt.
Then one day, I found a training program where I learned the skills I needed to start healing and see a new path forward. I will never be the same - no one who suffers a loss ever is, whether it is the loss of a person, of identity, or of hope. I like to think that the new me is bigger, more courageous, more aware. Being childless brought to the surface every wound or loss I've ever experienced, every shadow I'd been running from, and every place where I needed to love myself more. This journey increased my capacity to hold safe space for others to do the same.
As I continued healing, I noticed how many other people were suffering with disenfranchised grief for different reasons.
Some had lost their community when they made the decision to become sober, but because sobriety is considered a positive thing, the loss associated with it is often overlooked.
Some struggled to overcome the loss of independence and functionality associated with aging, illness, or injury.
Some struggled with feelings of loss when their children moved out. They felt like they should only feel happy for their children and not sad for themselves, but people are complex and can have multiple feelings at the same time.
Some felt complicated feelings around being adopted. They felt love for their adoptive parents so they never allowed themselves to feel grief over the loss of their birth parents.
Some had an added dimension of confusion or anger if their loved one went to prison or died by suicide or overdose.
Some deeply felt the loss of a secret relationship, an abusive partner, a past relationship, or the death of an unrequited love
Some felt like they couldn't talk to anyone about a loss they felt they should "be over already."
I could go on and on. If your situation isn't on that list, it doesn't mean you don't deserve to grieve or that I don't see you. I tried to give different types of examples so that people would understand how many different situations can create disenfranchised grief. This list is by no means exhaustive.
I can't change your circumstances any more than I could change my own, but I can help you accept yourself and all of your feelings, even the complicated ones. One doesn't get over grief and loss, but if we allow ourselves to feel these feelings we can make room for other feelings alongside them. Humans are capable of change at any point in life.
"There are some people in my life that I feel like I was destined to meet.
Usually these people turn out to be part of a powerful change in my life; Tracey is certainly one of them.
Coming to benefit from Tracey’s vast healing abilities feels like I struck Gold.
As a therapist I know how important it is to make people feel seen and known.
I feel completely safe and cared for in Tracey’s presence.
I’m wildly impressed with her knowledge and even more so by her deep intuition.
I would recommend Tracey as a healer, a catalyst for beautiful and powerful change, to anyone."
"Working with Tracey was an incredible experience. She helped me process my emotions related to childlessness and limiting beliefs. She explained her coaching process clearly and made sure I understood the techniques she would be using to support me on my healing journey.
During one of my sessions, Tracey facilitated a powerful forgiveness exercise that allowed me to let go of some past traumas that were holding me back. She created a safe and supportive space for me to explore my emotions, and I felt so comfortable being vulnerable with her. As a result of the exercise, I experienced a profound sense of healing and relief.
Tracey was always sensitive to my needs and checked in with me regularly, ensuring our sessions were focused on the issues that were most important to me. Her ability to hold space with compassion and understanding was truly remarkable.
I am so grateful for Tracey's guidance and support, and I would highly recommend her coaching services to anyone looking for a skilled and compassionate coach to help them navigate life's challenges."
"What can I say about Tracey…
I can’t count the number of times when I would be so up in my head and just all over the place and she just keeps holding space for me and guiding me oh so effortlessly through the process.
Her intuitive skills are beyond incredible it’s like she’s in my head pulling out everything that needs to be said at just the right moment for those subtle ah-ha moments that bring so much clarity and honestly a sense of peace.
Tracey continues to guide and encourage me down this winding road and with each road block she continues to support me with her loving touch.
I can’t even express how grateful I am for her as she has been such a tremendous stepping stone in my journey of healing my past so that I can step into my greatness and show up as the woman I’m meant to be."
"I have worked with Tracey several times. Each time, I have been impressed by how she shows up with complete focus and amazing compassion and empathy for whatever the client is working through. The Breakthrough process with Tracey was impactful in ways that I couldn’t have predicted and quite literally enabled me to resolve trauma responses and release limiting decisions that I had been dealing with and carrying for most of my life. It isn’t possible to make a strong enough recommendation for working with Tracey to make impactful changes in your life."
“I highly recommend Tracey. She is an intuitive, kind and compassionate life coach. In just a few sessions she helped me identify my triggers and create new strategies to change lifelong habits. Tracey's support has given me the confidence and belief that I needed to create the life I desire. I am forever grateful to her.”