Episode 22: Stages of Estrangement

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Not every parent estranged from their adult child (or children) is in exactly the same place, emotionally or spiritually, during the estrangement. From observation, Tina hypothesizes that parents go through five predictable stages. And just like the stages of grief observed by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, not everyone goes through all of them, and the stages don’t …

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Episode 2: Estrangement is an Ambiguous Loss

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Estrangement from an adult child is what author Pauline Boss called an “ambiguous loss.” She wrote a book by that name in 1999, and although she didn’t talk specifically about estrangement, the circumstance definitely qualifies as similar to a familiar member being missing in action, or having a disease like Alzheimer’s, in which case they’re …

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Holiday Survival Guide

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The holidays can be one of the toughest times of the year for parents estranged from adult children and grandchildren. It may be tempting to ignore, avoid, or downplay the holidays. You might go away on vacation. You might take on heaps of volunteer service to keep busy. Or you might just put your head …

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The Myth of Closure

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You know the heartache of having an estranged adult child or children. They seem to be gone, but they’re certainly not forgotten. Maybe you’ll be able to reconcile one of these days, but you can’t be sure. Did you know there’s a name for this phenomenon? Ambiguous Loss Back in 1999, psychology researcher Pauline Boss …

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