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What is Ambiguous Loss?

Ambiguous loss is also known as anticipatory or frozen grief. This is grief that comes from anticipating a future loss that has not happened yet.
A girl in a Jacket

Another way to describe ambiguous loss is the feeling of grief from someone being either physically present but not emotionally present or emotionally present but not physically present.

Some common examples of when people often experience ambiguous loss are:




Drug addiction






Mental illness

Child custody modifications


Missing person

Chronic illness

We naturally want clarity and closure which is not always available in many situations. Ambiguous loss is complicated and can come in waves that make it hard to move on as we are often encouraged to do. The emotions can be overwhelming at times, and every person’s experience is unique.

Some suggestions to help you cope:

  • Don’t feel bad for not being able to “let it go”. Be gentle with yourself. Your feelings are normal.

  • Focus on self-care. Exercise, music, meditation, journaling, nature, play, and laughter are healthy outlets to help you maintain balance. Proper sleep and nutrition are also very important ways you care for yourself.

  • Build a support network, to include your family and friends, of open-minded people who will listen and not judge. Accept help when it is offered. Ask for help when you need it.

Sims & Purzer team has the experience, willingness, and dedication it takes to holistically guide and help you understand your family law matter. We help you with the legal issues so you can focus on yourself and your family to improve the lifestyle for those you care about.

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