Two types of “ambiguous loss”

What is ambiguous loss?

Type1  Physical absence with a psychological presence

Typical examples of “Leaving without Goodbye”:



 Missing, disappearance, distress, abduction, lost without a trace, etc.

*More common:

 Divorce, adoption, immigration, etc.



Type2 Psychological absence with a physical presence

Typical examples of “Goodbye without Leaving”:



 Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, brain injury, addiction to drugs or alcohol, depression, etc.

*More common:

 Absence of a loved one, homesick, workaholic, etc.


Note) “Catastrophic” refers to a tragic situation in which many huge changes occur in one’s environment.