Ambiguous loss is a loss that occurs without closure. In families with an aging loved one, this can often be the case when more advanced dementia is being experienced. It is that time when your loved one is physically there, but may not remember you or others that they were close to. The family can experience that sense of loss even though the person is still present.
Here are some tips that were suggested by local author Cynthia Orange:
- Don’t pressure yourself or others to just move on
- Be gentle with yourself and know that these feelings are normal
- Seek professional help if you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to function
- Seek support of family and friends who love, affirm and listen to you in an open and non-judgmental way
- Set appropriate boundaries for others who may try and swoop in with answers and directives for you
- Self care is extremely important. Take time for you
- Ask for and accept help when needed
- Make room in your day for your grief, but also make time for the beauty each day brings.
Your experience is both unique and universal. There will be times when being with and hearing from others going through the same experience will be helpful and times when it will not. Be respectful of where you and others are on this journey at any given time.