The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic and Change

Author(s) : Pauline Boss

The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic and Change

Book Details

  • Publisher : WW Norton
  • Published : March 2022
  • Cover : Hardback
  • Pages : 192
  • Category :
    Grief and Bereavement
  • Category 2 :
    Trauma and Violence
  • Catalogue No : 96406
  • ISBN 13 : 9781324016816
  • ISBN 10 : 9781324016
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How do we begin to cope with loss that cannot be resolved?

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many of us haunted by feelings of anxiety, despair and even anger. In this book, pioneering therapist, Pauline Boss identifies these vague feelings of distress as ambiguous loss. This is what we experience when a loss remains unclear and undefined, and thus lingers indefinitely. Now, with a pandemic that has upended the lives of people across the globe, we are collectively experiencing ambiguous loss—loss of trust in the world as a safe place and loss of certainty about our healthcare, education for our children, employment, and the rebuilding of our lives after so much loss.

Here, you will find guidance for beginning to cope with this lingering distress, and even learn how this time of pandemic has taught us to tolerate ambiguity, build resilience and emerge from crises stronger than we were before.

Reviews and Endorsements

"As we deal with the ambiguous losses we are experiencing in the pandemic, Boss reminds us that while grief is a lifelong journey, we still have opportunities both to build resilience and grow from loss - even those losses that are unclear. The key to coping with ambiguous loss is 'both/and' thinking - accepting the loss as well as recognizing that things are still here. What we have lost is gone, but we continue to retain an emotional and spiritual bond with it. As Boss notes, this is a most important insight as we live through this pandemic. Her work is a is a tour de force that unites her earlier writings on loss, trauma, and resilience and it is a hopeful message to all of us who struggle to make sense of today's world" Kenneth J Doka, PhD, Senior Consultant, The Hospice Foundation of America, Professor Emeritus, The College of New Rochelle.

"From her own professional and personal experience, Boss offers us lessons in dealing with ambiguous loss. She writes beautifully and with great emotion as she tackles one of our most difficult challenges - how to grow through pain and suffering. Boss is a cultural therapist whose work helps us understand ourselves and each other" Mary Pipher, psychologist and author of Women Rowing North and Reviving Ophelia

About the Author(s)

Pauline Boss, PhD, is emeritus professor at University of Minnesota. She is known worldwide for developing the theory of ambiguous loss and as a pioneer in the interdisciplinary study of family stress management. Dr. Boss is the author of Loss, Trauma, and Resilience: Therapeutic Work with Ambiguous Loss and The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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