I’m a long-time fan of Louise Hay who is big on affirmations for emotional and physical healing. And according to Louise and co-author David Kessler of You Can Heal Your Heart, understanding what kind of loss you’re experiencing can sometimes help you find your best self in the situation. Especially if you use these specific affirmations.
Check out Part 1 on Complicated Loss (like when you weren’t expecting the divorce) and Loss in Limbo (like when a child or soldier is missing). All of this is really interesting and helpful.
Moving on to Part 3…
3. Disenfranchised Grief
Disenfranchised grief results in a loss for which people don’t feel they have a socially recognized right to grieve. Disenfranchised grief is often not openly mourned or approved of.
Like when the relationship is not socially approved of or publicly recognized, such as with LGBT relationships or marriage. In those cases, try thinking: “Regardless of what others think about my love, I honor my love and my loss”. (Cool Mona Note: I’m also thinking about those who fall in love with a married person.)
If the relationship exists primarily in the past (like the deceased is an ex-wife or ex-husband),try thinking: “Even though my loved one is my ex, my feelings of love are not just in the past, but also in the present. I will fully grieve my love for him or her”).
Other times, the loss is hidden or not easy to see. Hidden losses include abortion or miscarriages. In those situations, try thinking: “I see and honor the loss of my child”).
In still other cases, there may be a stigma connected to how a person died. This could be a death that appears to have an element of poor decision-making or what some consider sin, such as those involving suicide, AIDS, alcoholism or drug overdose . Try thinking this after a loss due to suicide: “My loved one was in pain and could not see a way out. I now see him as whole and at peace.” For alcoholism and/or drug addiction: “My loved one did the best he could. I remember him before he was addicted and I see him now without his addiction.”
Sometimes, the loss of a pet isn’t shared because of the fear of ridicule. In that case, try thinking: “The love I have for my pet is very real. I will only share my grief with those who will understand my loss.” (Cool Mona Note: And talk to me, Cool Mona. Most days, I would easily choose a pet over a person.)
Remember, when it comes to disenfranchised grief, you can’t change other people’s thinking, but you can always change your own. Remind yourself: I honor my losses.