• Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief See large image

    Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief (Hardback) By (author) Pauline Boss

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    DescriptionFrozen sadness - what we have when we cannot really know what we have lost. This is what Pauline Boss illuminates, and helps to ease. It could be a loved one still alive yet lost to a person: a soldier son missing in action, or a constantly travelling spouse. In another kind of ambiguous loss, the loved one may be physically present but beyond a person's reach - such as someone with Alzheimer's disease.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Ambiguous Loss

    Title
    Ambiguous Loss
    Subtitle
    Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Pauline Boss
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 160
    Width: 144 mm
    Height: 208 mm
    Thickness: 20 mm
    Weight: 381 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780674017382
    ISBN 10: 0674017382
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: HEA
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T9.5
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC subject category V2: VFJ
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 20
    BIC subject category V2: VSP
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    BIC subject category V2: JMM
    DC21: 152.4
    B&T General Subject: 670
    BISAC V2.8: PSY016000
    B&T Merchandise Category: MAJ
    BISAC V2.8: FAM014000, SEL010000
    LC subject heading: ,
    B&T Approval Code: A11464600
    BISAC V2.8: PSY000000
    DC22: 155.9/3
    LC classification: BF575.D35 B67 1999
    Thema V1.0: JMM, VSP, VFJ
    Publisher
    HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
    Imprint name
    HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
    Publication date
    25 May 1999
    Publication City/Country
    Cambridge, Mass
    Review quote
    You will find yourself thinking about the issues discussed in this book long after you put it down and perhaps wishing you had extra copies for friends and family members who might benefit from knowing that their sorrows are not unique...This book's value lies in its giving a name to a force many of us will confront--sadly, more than once--and providing personal stories based on 20 years of interviews and research.--Pamela Gerhardt "Washington Post "
    Review text
    A compassionate exploration of the effects of ambiguous loss and how those experiencing it handle this most devastating of losses. Family therapist and researcher Boss (Univ. of Minnesota) has studied ambiguous loss in the families of pilots declared missing in action in Vietnam and Cambodia, in midlife couples whose adolescent children have recently left home, and in families where one member has Alzheimer's. This latter group includes Native American women of the Ashinabe tribe in northern Minnesota. The author divides ambiguous loss into two basic types: first, where someone is perceived as physically absent but psychologically present, e.g., men declared missing in action who are not known to be alive or dead; second, where someone is perceived to be psychologically absent but physically present, e.g., a spouse with dementia or other mental illness. Situations that can create a feeling of ambiguous loss also include such common phenomena as immigration or a move, adoption, divorce, and the workaholism of a partner. Boss finds that the uncertainty of such situations can easily lead to depression, anxiety, and family conflict. Using personal narratives of those she has worked with, she reports how those experiencing ambiguous loss often struggle to control an unclear situation by searching for absolutes, either denying that anything has changed or, alternatively, acting as though the loved one is completely gone. Among the Ashinabe women, however, she found a spiritual acceptance of ambiguity, indicating that a tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty seems to be related to cultural values and spiritual beliefs. As a family therapist, Boss's own approach is to encourage families to talk together, to reach a consensus about how to mourn that which has been lost and how to celebrate that which remains. Her simple stories of families doing just that contain lessons for all. Insightful, practical, and refreshingly free of psychobabble. (Kirkus Reviews)