We want to name the pain, create a community of support, and then, together, find ways to move forward. Our journey down that path has started with the creation of ambiguous loss groups. We currently have one for parents with estranged adult children, one for caregivers, and one for people who develop serious mental illnesses. We hope that's just the start for us. Eventually we would like to have more groups that target very specific areas of loss. I've been making an effort to talk about it more in personal life as well. Sharing my own experience of loss and the struggle ambiguity adds to life has opened up fantastic conversations with friends and family. It's exciting but also surprisingly challenging; trying to bring to light a pain that's so often hidden and ignored. I often expect looks of complete confusion and pity yet have found the opposite response, one of relief and understanding, is more common and makes the momentary discomfort of broaching the subject worth it. If we all start acknowledging ambiguous loss as a genuine, painful loss experience then we'll be able to create a community where there are resources and support to help people live with the pain. Creating this awareness and support is possible but will take more than a few therapists in Minneapolis creating groups and talking about ambiguous loss in their personal lives. Will you join us in trying to create this change?
Thoughts By Alissa Kaasa