Living, Loving and Loss

Living, Loving and Loss : The Interplay of Intimacy, Sexuality and Grief

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One of the unspoken aspects of mourning concerns the ways that loss affects our intimate relationships and our sexual expressiveness. This text opens these subjects for conversation, with the aim of promoting the trust, care, and respect that enable us to be vulnerable. It purposefully covers a range of topics, including: (1) the meaning of intimacy and the significance of sexuality, providing a basis for the use of these terms throughout the book; (2) death, grief, and differences in sexual orientation, including death and intimacy in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and the losses endured by young people due to gender issues; (3) loss of relationship and restoration of intimacy in families, including pharmacological effects on the grief processes of widowers; grieving a not-so-loved parent; the "layered losses" of infertility and intimacy; and the tolls of war--intimacy and sexuality challenges for soldiers and their families; (4) adjusting to life's losses associated with aging or illness or infirmity, including Alzheimer's and dementia-related illnesses, physical health losses after 50, and intimacy, sex, and hospice--self-determination and dignity at the end of life; and (5) religious bases that have shaped our perspectives for understanding intimacy, sexuality, and healing after loss, and which give us hope--including the spiritual reflections of a rabbi and a Christian voice in defining what is right. Set in a framework that is both psychological and spiritual, the well-researched contributions are intended to acknowledge these experiences both professionally and personally. The book concludes with an extensive bibliography, valuable for research and reference.

This book will be of value in undergraduate and graduate courses on thanatology, as well as for anyone interested in knowing more about grief--both those currently bereaved and those who wish to support others in mourning. The contributors appreciate both the importance of our capacities for intimacy and sexuality and our inhibitions and hesitations in giving voice to our needs and concerns, perhaps especially when we are grieving. The information and compassionate understanding they provide encourage us to bridge the gap between the secret and the private and to share what is close to our hearts.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 252 pages
  • 149.86 x 228.6 x 10.16mm | 362.87g
  • Amityville, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0895036533
  • 9780895036537

Table of contents

Brad Hunter

Brad DeFord and Richard B. Gilbert


Brad DeFord

SECTION 1: Death, Grief, and Differences of Sexual Orientation

Death and Intimacy Issues in the LGBT Community: A Gay Perspective
Ronald L. Attrell

Young People and Gender Issues: Living with Loss
Linda Goldman

SECTION 2: Loss of Relationship and the Restoration of Intimacy in Families

Momma's Dead and Daddy's on Viagra!: Elder Widowers, ED Drugs, and New Romantic Relationships
Harold Ivan Smith

Grieving a Not-So-Loved Parent: Sinking in the Mud of Hurtful Memories
Richard B. Gilbert

Infertility and Intimacy: Life's Layered Losses
Darcy L. Harris

The Tolls of War: Intimacy and Sexuality Challenges for Soldiers and Their Families
M. Douglas Harvey

SECTION 3: Adjusting to Life's Losses by Aging or Illness or Infirmity

Birth of a Stranger: Intimacy, Sexuality, and Dementia
Sara Sanders and Joelle Osterhaus

Love, Life, and Losses After 50
Anne Katz

Intimacy, Sex and Hospice: Self-Determination, Dignity, and Intimacy Options at the End of Life
Sherri Weisenfluh and Vicki Merrill

SECTION 4: Religious Bases for Understanding Intimacy, Sexuality, and Healing After Loss

Living, Loving, and Losing: A Spiritual Reflection Through the Eyes of a Rabbi
Daniel A. Roberts

Engaging the Christian Voice in Defining (and Redefining) What Is Right
David Daubert and Robert D. Machamer

Afterword: Toward a Spirituality of Love and Longing
Brad DeFord

Richard B. Gilbert

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About Brad Deford

Brad DeFord, PhD, researches and writes on end-of-life, grief, and aging. He is a graduate of the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, USA (MA, PhD) and Union Theological Seminary in New York, USA (MDiv). He has been a hospice chaplain for ten years, and for six years served as Leader of the Spiritual Caregiver Section of the National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals, an organisation of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). He published frequently in NHPCO journals and had a principal role in writing Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Hospices. DeFord has published articles in journals as diverse as Healing Ministry and Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation. He is coauthor, with social worker Suzanne Bushfield, of End-of-Life Care and Addiction: A Family Systems Approach (Springer, 2009). Richard B. Gilbert, D.Min., PhD., FAAGC, is the executive director of The World Pastoral Care Center. An ordained Anglican priest he has presented throughout the United States and internationally on bereavement, health care, spirituality and pastoral care. He earned the Doctor of Ministry degree in 1999, and his PhD. in 2003. He is a Certified Pastoral Bereavement Counselor and a Fellow, The American Association of Grief Counselors. He is a certified Thanatologist and a Fellow, The American Academy of Experts on Traumatic Stress.
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