Is Grief A Hidden Disability? A Conversation with Christina Irene

death interviews Dec 03, 2023

Grieve Leave founder, Rebecca Feinglos, recently sat down with Christina Irene, a dedicated speaker and author focused on invisible illnesses and hidden disabilities. Christina's personal journey has fueled her advocacy, making her a compelling voice in this space.

To catch the full conversation, watch the interview on our Instagram. And if you're looking for a quick peek into the key insights from Christina, keep reading below for three takeaway points from our discussion.


“If it exists, if you’re experiencing it, it's not a competition. It’s valid.”

Your grief? It matters. Period.

It matters because you’re experiencing it. It’s real. Every person’s grief is like a fingerprint – unique and valid. Christina’s spot-on when she says it's not a competition. Sometimes society makes it seem like grief is a game of who's feeling it the most. But, the truth is, if you’re going through it, it’s valid. 

Your grief is yours, and that makes it important.


“Grief is absolutely disabling. Grief can be a disability.”

Christina's insight into grief as a disabling force sheds light on the impact it can have on one's life. Grief extends far beyond an emotional response; it seeps into every facet of daily living, reshaping perspectives, routines, and relationships.

This perspective resonates strongly with the concept of disenfranchised grief, where societal norms might not fully recognize or support the depth of someone's loss. It's like navigating a world that doesn't quite speak your language. 

By recognizing grief's disabling effects, we can work towards a society that provides the necessary support and accommodations for those navigating the complexities of grief.


“Some of these [hidden disabilities] are just separate and some come as bundles, like cable and internet.  I don't remember signing up for them, but I have a lifetime subscription”

Understanding grief as a long-term thing challenges the idea that time magically “heals” all. Sure, it might ease up a bit, but it's always lingering. 

It's like waves that keep coming, sometimes strong right after a loss, and then hitting you when you least expect it. Maybe it's triggered by a song that reminds you of someone you've lost, or it hits you out of the blue, even years down the road.


Christina Irene's insights not only shine a light on hidden disabilities but also bring a realness to how we understand grief. Her words are a reflection of what we're all about at Grieve Leave—acknowledging and embracing the different ways people experience grief.  For the full conversation, hop over to our Instagram and watch the interview HERE


To connect with Christina Irene and explore more about hidden disabilities, follow her on Instagram.

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