An excellent discussion of “complicated grief” in some of the ways it may be manifesting after the Pulse shooting.
The deaths of 49 members of the queer community at Orlando’s Pulse dance club (whether or not they were self-identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people) has evoked a variety of emotional responses, chief among them grief.
Grief is our personal or communal experience of loss. Although we typically think of loss in terms of the death of a loved one, other losses also produce grief. In most instances we have at our disposal socially sanctioned ways of externalizing our grief in rituals and other practices of mourning. Vigils, memorial services, funerals, memorials and shrines all provide opportunities for personal and communal expression of grief.
But what happens when something obstructs our being able to acknowledge our loss, experience and express our grief, and publicly mourn?
- Consider the customers at Pulse who couldn’t tell their families, friends and co-workers about their trauma because they’re not out of the closet.
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