Repat: Disenfranchised Grief

March 2, 2020


This morning, I opened up Instagram and the first thing I saw was a post about repat grief that absolutely blew my mind from Maria Latham of I Was An Expat Wife. The post was a photo with overlaid text that read, "Saying goodbye to my expat self is one of the hardest things I've ever done." Then, in the caption, she dove deeper, writing, "Re-entry comes with many losses...The hardest part is trying to make people understand that yes, it's possible to grieve the loss of a city, or a language, or a cuisine." She went on, explaining that as repats, "because our losses don't involve death, they're widely considered to be frivolous or irrelevant. As a result, disenfranchised grief responses tend to be more severe than those of death-related losses, precisely because we're told they don't 'count.'"

Wow. We are told they don't count.

Just like that, in a few simple sentences, Maria pinpointed and made crystal clear exactly what I have been feeling for more than five years, but have never been able to fully or accurately articulate. Five years! Maria's words were so poignant and accurate, it made my jaw drop to read them. I re-read her caption several times, nodding my head in disbelief that I had never heard of disenfranchised grief before now. It turns out that disenfranchised grief is very much a thing and that it is the exact thing that has been weighing on me since I returned to the US from Switzerland.

I realize that not everyone experiences re-entry the way I did, but maybe you have. Based on what she wrote in that quick Instagram caption, Maria Latham definitely has. I can understand that from the outside looking in, it may seem genuinely frivolous or irrelevant, like it's not even a thing to those not experiencing it. My friends and family have watched me go through several deep depressions since I returned to the US and they can't even begin to genuinely connect those episodes with the grief and mourning I have been going through over losing Zurich and my life there. I get the feeling that their response to that is along the lines of "well, maybe, but, (add in something more concrete here, like finances or career) is the real problem." And just like that, what they unwittingly do is disenfranchise my grief, and make it not count. The grief of repatriation is very real and it's more than enough all by itself.

Throughout my repatriation journey, I have really struggled with this added dimension of being told, directly or indirectly, that my grief doesn't count. It has been maddeningly disorienting and isolating. As I have grappled with this, I have been able to isolate examples of my disenfranchised grief - times when (hopefully) well-meaning friends or family dismissed my feelings of loss. This has always felt terrible - and terribly significant! - but I have never been able to name it. It is so powerful to be able to name a feeling or phenomenon. Knowing that disenfranchised grief is an actual thing, and that it's what the debilitating feeling I have been experiencing all this time is actually called, makes it seem more accessible and manageable somehow. I'm also genuinely surprised that not one of the coaches, therapists, or healers I have worked with over the past five years has known or used that term.

Repatriating really is a lonely, difficult journey. So it makes sense that disenfranchised grief responses "tend to be more severe than those of death-related losses" doesn't it? How can we begin to process and move on with our grief when we're being told that it isn't even real? Does this concept resonate with you? If it does, please share your experiences in the comments below. And be sure to follow @iwasanexpatwife on Instagram. I always love her thoughtful and insightful posts and I think you will, too.

(Photo via Pinterest/PullCast)

Join the conversation!

  1. Hey
    I some ineteresting info
    People in Switzerland speak the German, French, Italian, and Romansh languages. The linguistic diversity of Switzerland is rather diverse according to a fractionalization scale which for Switzerland is 0.5441. The followers of Christianity are the religious majority in the country. 73.7% of Switzerland's population live in cities.
    http://www.confiduss.com/en/jurisdictions/switzerland/culture/
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hire Best Packers And Movers Mumbai for hassle-free Household Shifting, ***Office Relocation, ###Car Transporation, Loading Unloading, packing Unpacking at affordable ???Price Quotation. Top Rated, Safe and Secure Service Providers who can help you with 24x7 and make sure a Untroubled Relocation Services at Cheapest/Lowest Rate @ Packers and Movers mumbai

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beachtung

    Ziel ist es, die breite Öffentlichkeit, gesunde Männer und Frauen zu informieren. Wer interessiert sich für

    Spenden Sie sofort Knochenmark (Nierenorgane) an Nieren, Hoden und 100% ernsthaften Kontakt. E-Mail; Clevelandclinicmanagement@gmail.com

    weil es viele von uns gibt

    Patienten, die derzeit eine Nierentransplantation benötigen.

    Suchen Sie nach der Möglichkeit, Ihre Niere gegen Geld zu verkaufen, um sie zu finanzieren

    Wir werden deine kaufen

    Niere für 800.000 €

    Leber: 600.000 €

    Eierstöcke: 300.000 €

    Knochenmark: 500.000 €


    und wir haben auch Vib / AIDS Ultra Vibros 11 Medikamente, die sie heilen oder ihnen erlauben können, länger zu gehen


    senden Sie uns eine Email


    EMAIL; Doctormichaelapa007@gmail.com

    Email; Clevelandclinicmanagement@gmail.com


    WhatsApp: frag mich


    Schöne Grüße


    Michael

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beachtung

    Ziel ist es, die breite Öffentlichkeit, gesunde Männer und Frauen zu informieren. Wer interessiert sich für

    Spenden Sie sofort Knochenmark (Nierenorgane) an Nieren, Hoden und 100% ernsthaften Kontakt. E-Mail; Clevelandclinicmanagement@gmail.com

    weil es viele von uns gibt

    Patienten, die derzeit eine Nierentransplantation benötigen.

    Suchen Sie nach der Möglichkeit, Ihre Niere gegen Geld zu verkaufen, um sie zu finanzieren

    Wir werden deine kaufen

    Niere für 800.000 €

    Leber: 600.000 €

    Eierstöcke: 300.000 €

    Knochenmark: 500.000 €


    und wir haben auch Vib / AIDS Ultra Vibros 11 Medikamente, die sie heilen oder ihnen erlauben können, länger zu gehen


    senden Sie uns eine Email


    EMAIL; Doctormichaelapa007@gmail.com

    Email; Clevelandclinicmanagement@gmail.com


    WhatsApp: frag mich


    Schöne Grüße


    Michael

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. An intriguing dialog is cost remark. I feel that it is best to compose more on this matter, it may not be a forbidden point however for the most part people are insufficient to chat on such subjects.
    To the following. Here's to you.
    Budget Friendly Web Hosting

    ReplyDelete
  7. Get Packers and Movers Jaipur List of Top Reliable, 100% Affordable, Verified and Secured Service Provider. Get Free ###Packers and Movers Jaipur Price Quotation instantly and Save Cost and Time. Packers and Movers Jaipur ✔✔✔Reviews and Compare Charges for household Shifting, Home/Office Relocation, ***Car Transportation, Pet Relocation, Bike SHifting @ Packers And Movers Jaipur

    ReplyDelete
  8. I reread this article a couple of times just to feel the comfort it gave me over and over. How you felt the first time you heard the term disenfranchised grief is exactly that triumphant feeling I have right now. You said it, you gave my two years of loss and isolation a name. Thank you for this article today. I was missing my expat family and life I left behind, crying in the car type of day. Those damn memory bomb songs that come on unexpected and take you back to that place or person... UGH. It's been 2 years we left the UAE and I still can't listen to their national anthem without becoming blubbering fool. There are parts of me that still hurt. Thank you for this today, I do find comfort knowing others are going through this rare and very beautiful loss... So grateful for the experience.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This article is full of information. Thanks foe sharing with us.
    Riding Lawnmower

    ReplyDelete
  10. https://www.oobbg.com 우리카지노사이트
    https://www.oobbg.com/theking 더킹카지노
    https://www.oobbg.com/sands 샌즈카지노
    https://www.oobbg.com/first 퍼스트카지노
    https://www.oobbg.com/yes 예스카지노
    https://www.oobbg.com/coin 코인카지노
    https://www.oobbg.com/33 33카지노
    https://www.oobbg.com/world 월드카지노
    https://www.oobbg.com/merit 메리트카지노
    https://www.oobbg.com/gatsby 개츠비카지노

    ReplyDelete
  11. https://www.omgqq.com 우리카지노사이트
    https://www.omgqq.com/thekingcasino 더킹카지노
    https://www.omgqq.com/sandscasino 샌즈카지노
    https://www.omgqq.com/firstcasino 퍼스트카지노
    https://www.omgqq.com/yescasino 예스카지노
    https://www.omgqq.com/supercasino 슈퍼카지노
    https://www.omgqq.com/gatsbycasino 개츠비카지노
    https://www.omgqq.com/33casino 33카지노
    https://www.omgqq.com/worldcasino 월드카지노
    https://www.omgqq.com/merit 메리트카지노

    ReplyDelete
  12. https://www.bbdd66.com 우리카지노사이트
    https://www.bbdd66.com/theking 더킹카지노
    https://www.bbdd66.com/sands 샌즈카지노
    https://www.bbdd66.com/first 퍼스트카지노
    https://www.bbdd66.com/yes 예스카지노
    https://www.bbdd66.com/super 슈퍼카지노
    https://www.bbdd66.com/gatsby 개츠비카지노
    https://www.bbdd66.com/33 33카지노
    https://www.bbdd66.com/world 월드카지노
    https://www.bbdd66.com/merit 메리트카지노

    ReplyDelete
  13. https://www.omgab.com 우리카지노사이트
    https://www.omgab.com/theking 더킹카지노
    https://www.omgab.com/sands 샌즈카지노
    https://www.omgab.com/first 퍼스트카지노
    https://www.omgab.com/yes 예스카지노
    https://www.omgab.com/super 슈퍼카지노
    https://www.omgab.com/gatsby 개츠비카지노
    https://www.omgab.com/33 33카지노
    https://www.omgab.com/world 월드카지노
    https://www.omgab.com/merit 메리트카지노

    ReplyDelete
  14. https://www.omgka.com 우리카지노사이트
    https://www.omgka.com/theking 더킹카지노
    https://www.omgka.com/sands 샌즈카지노
    https://www.omgka.com/first 퍼스트카지노
    https://www.omgka.com/yes 예스카지노
    https://www.omgka.com/super 슈퍼카지노
    https://www.omgka.com/gatsby 개츠비카지노
    https://www.omgka.com/33 33카지노
    https://www.omgka.com/world 월드카지노
    https://www.omgka.com/merit 메리트카지노

    ReplyDelete
  15. How To Get Your Ex Lover/Partner/Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Wife Or Husband Back

    I was married for 16 years to a loving mother and wife. We had 2 children together who are now 11 & 13. I reconnected with an old girlfriend from college on Facebook and we began an affair and I left my wife. The woman I had an affair with is a wonderful woman and I love her too and our kids had begun accepting the situation and my wife has kind of moved on, but not in love with the man she is seeing.  I thought I fell out of love with my wife and I felt terrible about what I did to her - she is a good woman and I don't know what came over me. I decided to try and get her back and I was recommended to Lord Zakuza for help to get reunited with my wife and within 48 hours after I made contact with Lord Zakuza my wife decided to work things out with me and now we are back together with our children living as one happy family. I really don't know the words to use in appreciation of what Lord Zakuza did for me but I will say thank you sir for reuniting I and my family back. For those in trying times with their marriages or relationship can communicate with LORD ZAKUZA through the below information's.

    Website via: lordzakuzaspells.com 
    WhatsApp/call/text: +1 740 573 9483
    Email: Lordzakuza7 @gmail. com

    ReplyDelete
  16. How To Get Your Ex Lover/Partner/Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Wife Or Husband Back

    I was married for 16 years to a loving mother and wife. We had 2 children together who are now 11 & 13. I reconnected with an old girlfriend from college on Facebook and we began an affair and I left my wife. The woman I had an affair with is a wonderful woman and I love her too and our kids had begun accepting the situation and my wife has kind of moved on, but not in love with the man she is seeing.  I thought I fell out of love with my wife and I felt terrible about what I did to her - she is a good woman and I don't know what came over me. I decided to try and get her back and I was recommended to Lord Zakuza for help to get reunited with my wife and within 48 hours after I made contact with Lord Zakuza my wife decided to work things out with me and now we are back together with our children living as one happy family. I really don't know the words to use in appreciation of what Lord Zakuza did for me but I will say thank you sir for reuniting I and my family back. For those in trying times with their marriages or relationship can communicate with LORD ZAKUZA through the below information's.

    Website via: lordzakuzaspells.com 
    WhatsApp/call/text: +1 740 573 9483
    Email: Lordzakuza7 @gmail. com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Buy Covid-19 vaccination card online
    Passport services produce verified register CDC COVID-19 vaccination cards that can enable you travel or present at your job side on request. buy registered Covid-19 vaccine at affordable prices at affordable prices without you being vaccinated
    We produce registered CDC vaccination card at affordable prices. You can present it at the airport whenever you want to travel or at your job site on request
    Our aim is to help those who are not able to obtain the CDC vaccine to obtain the card so as to show proof of being vaccinated.
    Fake vaccination cards are on the rise in the U. S. and getting one is easier than you think.
    Fake COVID Vaccine Cards Can Be Bought Online
    Lost your COVID vaccination card
    https://www.passportsservices.com/buy-covid-19-vaccination-card-online/
    Contact emails ......... passportsservices247@gmail.com

    Telegram ....... @Passportsservicese

    Whatsapp ------------ +1(901)878-9747

    ReplyDelete

Post Signature
© SWISS LARK. Design by FCD.