Unacknowledged Wounds: Enfranchising the Thousand Losses of Migratory Grief

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Milidragovic, Darja
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A growing number of people around the world are being displaced due to violence, war, genocide, poverty, and the ecological crisis. Although it is now widely recognized that the experience of displacement and resettlement can be extremely traumatic, there continues to be a significant gap in both literature and social discourse on the impact of migration, specifically regarding grief and loss. This paper explores possible reasons for this absence and aims to illuminate and acknowledge the profound, innumerable, and layered non-death losses experienced by migrants. The goal is to validate, normalize and humanize migratory grief so that it can be attended to with the care it needs and deserves, and to help counsellors, migrants, and society develop a deeper understanding and sense of compassion for this experience. This paper also offers non-pathologizing and life-giving ways to honor the many losses associated with migration and nurture a sense of empowerment, hope, purpose, meaning and belonging in those who have been uprooted and replanted in new lands. Readers will be invited to consider grief as a potential source of self-discovery, purpose, and love, rather than a pathology in need of fixing. Finally, the paper will end with a discussion on the importance of engaging in advocacy, activism, and glbal movements for justice, equity, and liberation as a way to mobilize grief and prevent its perpetuation.
migrants , refugees , migratory grief , disenfranchised grief , non-death losses , expressive arts , existentialism
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