All the Small Losses

One of the New York Times newsletters that comes to my inbox led me to an article called “Disenfranchised Grief in a Year of Loss.” Disenfranchised grief, I learned, is any grief that goes unacknowledged by society. It’s the type of grief people experience privately because they feel like their grief isn’t valid. It’s the kind of grief that makes people say, “I don’t want to complain, I know others have it so much worse than me.” But it is real.

The article goes on to say that many people right now are suffering from disenfranchised grief as a result of experiences and opportunities lost during the pandemic. In many cases, it isn’t about one large thing that was lost, but the accumulation of many small losses. This made me think about what I have lost over the past year. I am fortunate to be in the category of those who haven’t lost a loved one to Covid, but there are many things I’ve missed out on a result of this pandemic:

  • visiting Grandma Michi on her 102nd birthday
  • going to the musical “The Sister Act” with my best friend for my birthday
  • celebrating my maternal grandparents’ 60th anniversary
  • trading our preschool payment for a housecleaning payment
  • family trips to the peninsula
  • celebrating my paternal grandparents’ 60th anniversary
  • introducing my children to their native heritage at the Chickasaw Cultural Center
  • taking my kids horseback riding for the first time
  • dropping my twins off on their first day of kindergarten
  • having one day/week at home alone
  • Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with anyone outside of my household
  • attending church in-person
  • date nights with my husband
  • seeing friends

Looking at my list, I know that I am blessed. As I said to a mom-friend recently, the problems and hardships many of us are facing are first-world problems. But they are losses, nevertheless. Acknowledging them allows us to move forward.

2 thoughts on “All the Small Losses

  1. True that. Disenfranchised grief isn’t a term I knew exactly before this slice. But I’ve felt it and seen it all around me. Thanks for the terminology. And the insight into what you’ve been missing. Awwww that one day a weeks all kids at school is glorious when it comes! Next year that’ll happen!

    Liked by 1 person

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