Monday, October 14, 2013

Ambiguous Loss of a Loved One

      Experiencing the ambiguous loss of  a loved one can be a very painful and complicated experience. While doing a bit of research on this topic I came across an informational website, This website is mastered by Pauline Boss. Dr. Boss received her Ph. D in Child Development and Family Studies in 1975 and went on to research and publish on ambiguous loss theory. On her website she states, "Everyone experiences ambiguous loss if only from breaking up with someone, or having aging parents or kids leaving home." This statement is, in my opinion, essential to understanding and coping with an ambiguous loss. What I appreciated most about her website, though, was this excerpt from the Four Questions page on her website:

Why does (ambiguous loss) matter?

Ambiguous loss freezes the grief process and prevents closure, paralyzing...function.

     What is so important to consider about ambiguous loss is how hard it is for one to find a sense of closure or comfort. While you may not be able to relate to someone's loss, please try to empathize with the difficulty of what they are feeling. She says, "With ambiguous loss there is no closure; the challenge is to learn how to live with the ambiguity." I do agree with this statement, but I would like to believe that learning to live with the ambiguity is sense of closure for those experiencing this kind of loss. Dr. Boss' website is very helpful on the topic of ambiguous loss and she has even authored two books on the topic. Check out the link above if you would like to know more.*

Thanks for reading, and until next time, 
Be Well.

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