Holding on to hope: A review of the literature exploring missing persons, hope and ambiguous loss.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Death studies, 2016, 40 (1), pp. 54 - 60
Issue Date:
2016-01
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When a person goes missing, those left behind mourn an ambiguous loss where grief can be disenfranchised. Different to bereavement following death, hope figures into this experience as a missing person has the potential to return. This review explores hope for families of missing people. Lived experience of ambiguous loss was deconstructed to reveal responses punctuated by hope, which had practical and psychological implications for those learning to live with an unresolved absence. Future lines of enquiry must address the dearth of research exploring the role of hope, unresolved grief, and its clinical implications when a person is missing.
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