Ambiguous Loss

A couple holding each other, comforting. Ambiguous loss, or loss that is not well defined or respected in our culture, is a common experience for both people with Parkinson's and their loved ones.

In this course, Positive Psychologist Maria Sirois outlines how to identify and manage the ambiguous losses that so often come with Parkinson’s and how to both find support for yourself and provide support to your loved one with Parkinson’s.





Section 1: Ambiguous Loss

Ambiguous Loss

Care To Talk? Ambiguous Loss

The Person with Parkinson's

Ambiguous Loss: The Care Partner

What Can Ambiguous Loss Look Like?
Information Page

Pause and Reflect: Ambiguous Loss in Your Life
Personal Prompt

Section 2: Roles and Identity

Changes in Roles and Identity

Maintaining Your Sense of Self

Cultural Differences

Pause and Reflect: Identities

Section 3: Navigating Grief and Loss

Stages of Grief

Working through Stages of Grief

Take Home Tip - Feel Your Feelings
Course Page

Stages of Grief: Your Experience

Pause and Reflect: Your Experience with Loss
Personal Prompt

Section 4: Coping with Ambiguous Loss

Finding Support

Fear of the Future

Care To Talk? Difficult Conversations

Navigating Difficult Conversations

Best Practices for Difficult Conversations
Take Home Tip 

Coping with Ambiguous Loss




Target Audience

This course introduces concepts that can be helpful for those new to the Parkinson’s community as well as those who are seasoned Parkinson’s care partners.

Learning Objectives

Our hope is that care partners who take this course will be able to:

  1. Understand what ambiguous loss can look like in a person with Parkinson’s and in their care partner.
  2. Identify ways to work through grief as your loved one’s Parkinson’s progresses.
  3. Recognize ways to manage shifting roles and maintain important pieces of your identity as your loved one’s Parkinson’s progresses.
Course summary
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Ambiguous Loss Subject Matter Expert: 

Maria Sirois, Psy.D 

Dr. Maria Sirois is an inspirational speaker, consultant, and licensed psychologist who has worked in the fields of resilience and positive psychology for more than twenty years. As a positive psychologist (Psy.D) she focuses on the capacity of the human spirit particularly when under chronic stress, during significant transitions, and/or feelings the shock of wholesale change. Maria is the author of two books: A Short Course in Happiness After Loss and Every Day Counts.   

Expert Care Partners:  

Angela Kohls 

Angela has been in many caregiving roles throughout her adult life – for her mother with Alzheimer’s, her son on the Autism Spectrum, and her late husband with Parkinson’s.  

Maria Mosquera  

Maria is a care partner for her husband, who isn’t as fluent in English as she is, requiring her to translate much of what she learns to him along the way. She shares how they navigated diagnosis in the height of the COVID pandemic and the uncertainties that came along with it.  


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