Living, Loving and Loss: The Interplay of Intimacy, Sexuality and Grief, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Living, Loving and Loss

The Interplay of Intimacy, Sexuality and Grief, 1st Edition

By Brad DeFord, Richard B. Gilbert


252 pages

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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. <br><br>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.

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


About the Series

Death, Value and Meaning Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health