Grieving When the Grief Isn’t Going to End
When you come from a community that often faces violence, whether that be interpersonal or institutional/state violence, your experience of grief is often quite different. Not only will you experience more personal grief in your lifetime, and often in more traumatic circumstances, but you are often grieving over and over again for people you don’t even know personally but who mirror people you do.
You know when you’re grieving that this will not be the last time you will feel this way, not even close. You know it’s only a matter of time before the next news headline puts you right back in that place of mourning. You know that without massive change there will always be another death in custody, another police shooting, another military raid of a village back home, another mass grave uncovered or another sister gone missing.
You don’t get to be shocked, or feel it’s unbelievable, because it is your everyday reality – and it’s exhausting. You know you won’t have time to fully heal before you experience the next loss, and the burden of grief is going to keep getting heavier and heavier.
Dealing with that kind of emotion over and over is really hard. It makes sense if you are worn out or triggered. It also makes sense if you are angry.
I have felt a real shift in how I respond to this type grief. While still I feel a sadness, a sense of loss and a want to hold my community close, I also feel this bubbling anger and a want to scream “ENOUGH” stronger than I have before. I’ve decided to not judge this anger. Instead, I will use it to energise me in standing with my communities and actually saying “ENOUGH” to the systems and powers that have caused this continuous grief.
I will allow myself to feel whatever I need to feel and do whatever I need to do in order to get some kind of healing. I refuse to feel guilty or ashamed of that.
This piece was written by one of the ICLA eFriend Peer Support Workers. eFriend is an online platform where you can connect with a trained peer support worker whom has their own lived experience of feeling lonely, isolated, stressed or worried. You can speak to your eFriend Peer via video or phone call. Your eFriend Peer will listen, validate and provide hope. If you like, they can also assist you to identify any other services you may like to try or help you create plans to improve your personal well-being. Or they can simply listen.
To book your first call visit: