Ambiguous Loss by Pauline Boss
Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief

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When a loved one dies we mourn our loss. We take comfort in the rituals that mark the passing, and we turn to those around us for support. But what happens when there is no closure, when a family member or a friend who may be still alive is lost to us nonetheless? How, for example, does the mother whose soldier son is missing in action, or the family of an Alzheimer's patient who is suffering from severe dementia, deal with the uncertainty surrounding this kind of loss?

In this sensitive and lucid account, Pauline Boss explains that, all too often, those confronted with such ambiguous loss fluctuate between hope and hopelessness. Suffered too long, these emotions can deaden feeling and make it impossible for people to move on with their lives. Yet the central message of this book is that they can move on. Drawing on her research and clinical experience, Boss suggests strategies that can cushion the pain and help families come to terms with their grief. Her work features the heartening narratives of those who cope with ambiguous loss and manage to leave their sadness behind, including those who have lost family members to divorce, immigration, adoption, chronic mental illness, and brain injury. With its message of hope, this eloquent book offers guidance and understanding to those struggling to regain their lives.


About Pauline Boss

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She received her Ph.D. in Child Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she subsequently taught for many years. In 1981, she joined the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota, where she is now Professor and Clinical Supervisor in the doctoral training program in marriage and family therapy. She was appointed Visiting Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School, 1995-96. Dr. Boss is a past-president of the National Council on Family Relations and is a past-president of the Groves conference on Marriage and the Family.
Published May 1, 1999 by Harvard University Press. 176 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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A compassionate exploration of the effects of ambiguous loss and how those experiencing it handle this most devastating of losses.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Ambiguous Loss: Learning to L...

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