Disenfranchised grief is a term that was coined by Dr. Ken Doka, a licensed mental health counselor and expert in grief. He defines disenfranchised grief as, “Grief that persons experience when they incur a loss that is not or cannot be openly acknowledged, socially sanctioned or publicly mourned.” This list of examples is long, but there is also a danger for losses experienced now in the time of Covid-19 for grief to become disenfranchised.

Anticipatory grief refers to a feeling of grief occurring before an impending loss. Typically, the impending loss is the death of someone close due to illness, but you may be feeling it if someone you love is sick – or you’re worried about them becoming sick while you’re physically distanced from them. Anticipatory grief can feel as big as regular grief.

Your feelings are valid, important, and real – and there are supports available for dealing with them. Sometimes learning that what you’re feeling is grief and that it’s normal can be helpful.

Related to Covid-19 Social Contact Restrictions

When You Can’t Be with a Dying Family Member
https://whatsyourgrief.com/cant-be-with-a-dying-family-member/

10 Ideas for Funerals and Memorials When You Can’t Be Together
https://whatsyourgrief.com/funerals-when-you-cant-be-together/

How to Livestream a Funeral or Memorial Service
https://whatsyourgrief.com/how-to-live-stream-a-funeral/

Funerals & Dying In Absentia: Inspiration & Tips During Covid-19
http://www.orderofthegooddeath.com/funerals-dying-in-absentia-inspiration-tips-during-covid-19

Burials & Funerals Under Covid-19
http://www.orderofthegooddeath.com/burials-funerals-under-covid-19

Jewish Grief and Mourning during the Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic
https://www.shiva.com/learning-center/coping/jewish-grief-and-mourning-during-the-covid-19-coronavirus-pandemic/

Covid-19 Grief Resources for Children
https://childrengrieve.org/about-us/news/208-covid-19

Pandemic Resources for Families Facing End of Life
https://www.homefuneralalliance.org/pandemic-resources.html?fbclid=IwAR3QMZi_RnsZKjuRZ9q89-ieX2oURO1Bbyes9oyVOIY241zDsj6XwTPdKR8

Death in the Time of Pandemic
https://www.oregonfuneral.org/pandemic_care_guide.html?fbclid=IwAR3lwdpy3mbdnxgtG49WD5hL2RN9zdZaFgG-6OqLHTdDRanF9qqPhNrO59w

Dying at Home During a Pandemic
https://asacredpassing.org/resources?fbclid=IwAR15iNZSZQSLNHmkqVM4GUJoNpipdnEvpv1C4rf3RW3Tpgq2t1–MKXE5R8

Pre-existing and/or Re-arising Grief

 Reasons Your Grief Feels Worse Right Now
https://whatsyourgrief.com/crisis-grief-feels-worse/

Please Don’t Minimize the Death of Older Adults
https://whatsyourgrief.com/please-dont-minimize-the-death-of-older-adults/

Grieving the Death of an Elderly Loved One https://whatsyourgrief.com/grieving-the-death-of-an-elderly-loved-one/

Refuge In Grief: Life Gone Sideways?
https://www.refugeingrief.com/life-gone-sideways/

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief
https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief?fbclid=IwAR2e3uzXwy8S3Rk8lo8k-CdpzuEieG1Ek-lIkqg-rSPNdyWZuT59XWApuTE

There Are No Five Stages of Grief
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/28/style/self-care/there-are-no-five-stages-of-grief.html

Grief, Covid-19, and Missing My Person – Am I Normal?
https://www.refugeingrief.com/2020/03/25/grief-covid-19-and-missing-my-person-am-i-normal/

Grief Out Loud – Dougy Center for Grieving Children Podcast, Episode 139
https://www.dougy.org/grief-resources/grief-out-loud-podcast/

General Grief and Mental Health Support During Crisis

Taking Care of Your Mental Health During Coronavirus
https://whatsyourgrief.com/mental-health-and-coronavirus/

Talking About Death During Covid-19
http://www.orderofthegooddeath.com/talking-about-death-during-covid-19?fbclid=IwAR3YahzZjOWj1XZJaiPGWLBRAr_01VsFVB79qyFG3PSBJP43zne8ssIVgdg

Opinion: It’s Time to Talk About Death
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/27/opinion/covid-end-of-life.html?fbclid=IwAR3N0sP3LbiDfCM4gfEDVrIzlUi7UOzATA_4d0eQqOcwmZXqGy5zdhETWDQ

How to Support a Grieving Friend
https://www.refugeingrief.com/helper-overview/

Complete Your Advanced Care Directives
https://getyourshittogether.org/checklist/
https://theconversationproject.org/

How to Make Your Estate Plan During the Coronavirus Pandemic
https://www.npr.org/2020/03/28/823071317/how-to-make-your-estate-plan-amid-the-coronavirus-pandemic?fbclid=IwAR35qBkmPv_x5nvStmCXl4v16ICHCc1t6S5r2BTSYkqWRAr9Au0GAO9xvnU

Mental Health and Coping During Covid-19
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fmanaging-stress-anxiety.html

This guide was specifically developed to address concerns regarding grief during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you are struggling with legal or employment issues, childcare, housing or food insecurity, workers compensation, paying medical or utility bills, substance use disorders, mutual aid resources, or other concerns, check out this Philadelphia Covid Resource Guide.

If you have a suggestion for this list, please email phillydeathdoulas@gmail.com.

Image by Richard Mcall from Pixabay

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