Coping with ambiguous loss

What is ambiguous loss?

Coping with ambiguous loss

The stress from ambiguous loss is said to be one of the most difficult stresses to cope with.


You don’t know who you are or how to live, and you feel as if you’ve lost the art of living.


However, even in the midst of all that, all is not lost. There is always a key to recovery and hope available. 


The following is a list of things you can do to help when dealing with ambiguous loss. Look for things you can do, even if only for a little at a time.


Something to help you cope

■Even if you can’t do it every day, have a conversation with your partner or family several times a week. It’s OK to disagree. It’s even more important to listen to each other. If there is a place for people to understand themselves, it can be a source of hope for any person.


■Invite your children to participate in family conversations. You don’t need to elaborate with your little ones, but you should let them know what parents and other adults around them are worried about. For any person, knowing even a little is better than not knowing anything at all.


■Let’s try to sort out a little bit what we have lost and what remains. Before we can sort it out, we often unknowingly suffer from complex feelings of guilt, shame, anger, and sadness. If possible, talk to someone you trust a bit about them. Sorting out such things and talking about them can make you feel better.


■When you are thinking or talking to people, you may feel a variety of emotions. At such times, be kind to yourself. Every emotion and thought is caused by an ambiguous loss. You don’t have to overly blame yourself, feel ashamed, or pass judgment. Also, all people are tempted to blame someone when things don’t go their way. However, try not to let that alienate your family and others too much.


■Gather information. Information is power. There are many sources of information: people you know, experts, and the Internet. Based on this information, think about whether there are any new options for your current life or way of thinking. If possible, talk about it with your family or someone you trust.


■Look for someone who you can express your thoughts comfortably, who understand you, and who you want to be close to. Such a person is called “psychological family “.


■Don’t be afraid of change. It is a very important part of our lives.


■If there is a place where you can connect with people who have had the same experience, please join. Those people will understand your suffering better than anyone else, even if they don’t have much to say.