Ambiguous Grief and How to Deal With It

By: Ian Elliott
Thursday, August 11, 2022

A wide range of emotions and circumstances can contribute to a person's feeling of ambiguous grief. Those who have lost a loved one are the ones who suffer the most apparent symptoms of grief. There is no going back after someone dies, and those left behind must figure out how to carry on with their daily life.

What Is Ambiguous Grief?

When there is no resolution or end, emotions remain unresolved and ambiguous. There are no mortal remains to bury or urns to hold ashes. If a person's loved one is still alive or their whereabouts are unknown, they will suffer from this type of grief. Numerous things can cause this:

  • The person's body is here, but their spirit and mind have long since left them due to mental decay.
  • The unconscious patient is not responding to treatment.
  • There has been no contact with the missing person, and their family members have no idea where they might be.
  • This person has left on their own accord and has chosen to cut off communication.

When lacking resolution, this type of loss prevents mourners from moving on. They are stuck in the denial phase of recovery and unable to move forward.

However, the conclusion and resolution are not always evident and final. Here at Arbutus Funeral Service, we know how crucial it is to address complicated grief. 

How Do You Deal With Ambiguous Grief?

Simply becoming aware of and accepting your emotions is a starting point. You must identify it and consider its effects on you. The next logical step is to seek professional counselling or participate in a self-help group. Also, remember to appreciate and enjoy the things in your life that are still intact. Thanks to the dear ones you still have, you will have the strength to recover.


At Arbutus Funeral Service, we help with pre-planning and organizing funerals. Contact us with your requirements for more details about our pre-planning services and other services.

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