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Recovering from the Loss of a Loved One to AIDS

Help for Surviving Family, Friends, and Lovers Who Grieve

By Katherine Fair Donnelly

Reprint Edition
Published by Fawcett Books
Publication date: June 1, 1995
ISBN: 0449909905 (soft cover)
ISBN: 0312110502 (hard cover)


Grief following a death by AIDS can be compounded by the stigma attached to the disease by some people. Family and friends may feel uncomfortable revealing that their loved one died of AIDS, making it difficult to talk honestly about their feelings. These are the "hidden grievers" who often suffer more damage due to the thoughtless and discriminatory attitudes of friends, family, and clergy. Some survivors are actively shunned when the truth about the death comes out. This book will be of particular use to such survivors living with disenfranchised grief.

AIDS affects our entire society, and we hear from a wide range of people in grief. The author uses first-person narratives to explore the diversity of losses, emotions, and coping strategies. In addition to spouses and lovers, we meet a grandmother who lost three grandchildren to AIDS, and heterosexual women mourning best friends who were gay men. These personal sharings are combined with professional views to suggest approaches to grief that may work for you.

The author could have been more crisp in the delivery of some of the material -- some stories run on or become repetitive. But on balance it's a useful book for the specialized topic of disenfranchised grief due to AIDS. It will be of most value to people who may lack access to good support resources in their local communities.

Includes a state-by-state resource directory.

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