Submitted by Pablo Retana on May 20, 2015 16:25
Researcher Pauline Boss coined the term ‘ambiguous loss’ in 1977 and defined it as a type of loss that offers no closure and leaves the person with more questions than answers, thus hindering the grieving process. There are two kinds of ambiguous loss; physical and psychological. Physical ambiguous loss is the type that Penelope and Telemachus must have experienced during Ulysses’s 20 year absence from home, during which he was thought to be dead but there was always the remotest chance that he might come back. In that case, the person is not there physically but is still remembered psychologically by those left behind. Conversely, psychological ambiguous loss what people who care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease may experience. The person remains there in the flesh but their minds are going or have already been long gone. The following tips may help caregivers cope with psychological ambiguous loss.