One can never fully understand the reality of being in a particular situation unless they are actually in it. Only then can they understand what it means and empathize with another in the same situation. This impresses my mortal mind for in God’s infinite wisdom,this day i gain an instilled understanding on the lesson of ambiguous loss.
Ambiguous loss as explained by my dear friend google is a loss that occurs without closure or understanding. This kind of loss leaves a person searching for answers, and thus complicates and delays the process of grieving, and often results in unresolved grief. For instance infertility, termination of pregnancy, disappearance of a family member death of an ex-spouse, a family member being physically alive but in a state of cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Interestingly, ambiguous death can be categorized into two types of loss, physical or psychological. Physical loss and psychological loss differ in terms of what is being grieved for, the loss of the physical body, or the psychological mind. Experiencing an ambiguous death due to psychological loss can lead to personal questions, such as, “Am I still married to my cheating spouse?” or “Am I still a child to a parent who no longer remembers me?”
There is nothing as devastating as experiencing the death of someone who is still alive for their psychological absence. It makes me re-think the whole concept of being a person and what being a person actually means. How is it possible to experience the death of one who is still alive? Yet the feeling of their loss is as real as it gets? How is it possible that i grieve one who still breathes while they walk this earth? How does one inhabit the body of someone else yet they physically they are one and the same person? How is it possible to look at someone and see someone else in them? How is it possible that the person i see in them is a stranger? How is it possible to cry one’s dear heart out as if they are gone from this world never to be seen again while they are right in front of you? “Who are you?”i ask as i look down to the picture of one i used to know and smile. How i dearly miss them while they are dead and gone to me. How is it possible that i can separate the two yet they are one and the same person? In all this how true their loss is to us. Truly the wonders of this world shall never end.
The feeling of ambiguous death for want of psychological presence is an aspect we may have gone through one time or the other in our lives. Most especially with a beloved family member, dear friend or cherished love. That day you wake up and ask “who are you? Where did you take my beloved?” You look at them and all you identify with is loss of the person they once were and all you see in them is somebody that is a complete stranger. The only thing one wonders is when did it reach that point? How the events of life take place in a subtle way. It is frustrating because one cannot grieve properly as they lack understanding of the ambiguous loss that is unfolding in their eyes. The ongoing events keep recurring in one’s thoughts as if it is a horror movie.
It is at that point in life that one bears witness to the end of a chapter and a new beginning. While we must continue on we must be grateful to have been blessed by someone who once colored our life with love. When there has been so much love and happiness for someone, it is natural to be reluctant to close such a wonderful chapter in our lives, for moving forward is rarely achieved without considerable grief and sadness. While our sorrow maybe profound the clouds as our loving Father promises will clear and the sun will shine on us again and in that warm bright light we shall find ourselves facing a healed future. On that glorious day the concept of moving on shall no longer be a tormenting thought but the solace for our deserved peace.