Most TCKs have high mobility in their lives. This aspect of mobility is another piece to understanding TCKs. Some may move every three months, some may move every three years, and many move somewhere between the two. These moves might be international, local between subcultures, sporadic when returning to visit their parents’ culture, between parental cultures, etc.
Many of these moves are transition experiences. With every transition, there is loss as well as gain. Depending on the amount and frequency of the mobility, the transition may be significantly different but, even in situations where there are less obvious cycles of mobility, there may be hidden losses.
Loss always results in a grief process…if the loss is small, it may go almost unnoticed, but in larger losses, the grief is significant and may result in long-term conscious or unconscious mourning. The unresolved grief might be expressed by denial, anger, depression, withdrawal, rebellion, vicarious grief, or delayed grief. This grief goes unresolved due to four possible reasons:
- Lack of awareness, “hidden losses”
- Lack of permission to grieve
- Lack of time to process
- Lack of comfort
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