Grief and Ghosting
Written by Kristi Whitaker, MSW, CBIS
Joanna Majka, from the Tristesse Grief Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma presented at Brookhaven’s Professional Seminar Series last month. Tristesse is a fantastic resource center focused on helping individuals, groups, and communities cope with feelings of grief and loss.
I was familiar with several of the topics Joanna discussed, such as the physical and psychological symptoms of grief. However, she also introduced a concept that was new to me: ambiguous loss. She described this type of loss as the experience of losing someone physically, yet psychologically they remain significant. You are left with more questions than answers and are unsure of what or how to grieve.
This type of loss grabbed my attention largely due to a new dating phenomenon known as “ghosting” that has recently been in the media. “Ghosting” is known as a method of ending a relationship with the sudden disappearance or slow fadeout of someone else’s life. Individuals guilty of ghosting report feeling that this is an easier, conflict avoidant way to end a relationship. It seems, though, the one on the discarded end may not agree. In an age where technology rules and online dating is the norm, ghosting is easier than ever, leaving many individuals to suffer the feelings of ambiguous loss.
That left me to wonder, how does one cope with being ghosted?