Before you start your support

To supporters and professionals

Before you begin to support someone with ambiguous loss, make sure you understand both “loss (definite loss)” and “ambiguous loss”.

The JDGS website “Supporting those who have lost a loved one by death”, as well as sections of this website, can help you understand this better.


 “Ambiguous loss” can also be a “complicated loss” because of a complicated situation. Complicated situations create complicated grief. Some people may not be able to move forward at all, and others may become depressed.


However, that does not mean that the person is abnormal. It is the complicated situation which is abnormal. First, understand the person’s situation without assuming that their thinking is wrong or that they have a problematic symptom.


 Living with “ambiguous loss” can be very difficult for any person.