Ambiguous Loss | non-death Loss

Ambiguous loss is when our relationship is disrupted or broken due to physical absence or psychological absence. It is a loss that is often traumatic without resolution or closure. These losses can be more complicated without the rituals such as funerals, or burials that can bring closure in a loss by death.

Some examples of the loss being physical, is when a person is not physically present but they are not gone such as, a missing person, divorce, deployment in the military, children separated from parents in immigration situation.

If your loved one is physically present but psychologically absent, this also is unclear and the relationship is irreparably changed. Some instances where this may occur are, when your loved one has a traumatic brain injury, dementia, or addiction.

Disenfranchised grief may be the result of ambiguous loss and is always invalidated and not acknowledged by what society believes to be the norm.

Some examples of disenfranchised grief are, infertility, loss of a pet, death of a same sex partner, loss of a job and many more. Follow this link for more examples of disenfranchised grief

If you or someone you care about needs professional help or support to process your feelings of loss and gain understanding around your experience of grief, reach out to the clinicians at CARE Counseling to support you in your steps toward healing.

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