Year: 2013 Source: Family Process.(2012).51(4):440-455.DOI: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.2012.01412.x SIEC No: 20130273

People who live with a painful gap between who they have been and who they are now, of who they dreamt themselves to be and who they still long to be, are living with chronic sorrow. Chronic sorrow is a normal, nonpathological state of pervasive, continuing, periodic, and resurgent sadness related to the ongoing losses associated with illness and disability, in this case not loss of an other, but loss of self (Roos, 2002). Focusing on the lives of four women, one of whom committed suicide, I explore the macroprocesses that invade the experience of even so personal an experience as self-loss. The role of the therapist is made transparent through anecdotes and by discussing implications for clinical practice.