The Disenfranchised: Stories of Life and Grief When an Ex-Spouse Dies, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Disenfranchised

Stories of Life and Grief When an Ex-Spouse Dies, 1st Edition

By Peggy Sapphire, Shirley Scott


244 pages

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The Disenfranchised: Stories of Life and Grief When an Ex-Spouse Dies offers an unprecedented anthology of never-before-published, first-person life histories by ex-spouses whose grief has endured as disenfranchised: socially unacknowledged, untold, and unrecognised. Each story of disenfranchised grief is fiercely honest and courageously made public. This anthology has no parallels in current texts, academic literature or mainstream publications. Contributors present personal histories, revealing that the dimensions of disenfranchised grief are as individual as the writers who have endured this neglected aspect of grief and bereavement. In many narratives, the healing power of their creative processes through art and poetry is further revealed. The anthology is compiled and edited by Peggy Sapphire, MS (Guidance and Counseling), a writer living in Vermont. Over the span of five years, through phone conversations and written communications, Ms. Sapphire established trusting relationships with the contributors, who, though choosing to submit their work, often struggled with reluctance, even dread, at revisiting previously private events in their lives and finally committing their stories to paper, and ultimately to publication. Each narrative is accompanied by a clinical commentary, written by Shirley Scott, MS, certified Thanatologist, which provides readers, whether academic, practitioner, student, or lay, with reflections on the issues and patterns of disenfranchised grief, as reflected by each narrative. Included in each commentary are bibliographic references for further and advanced study. The contributors represent an extraordinary range of professional achievements and academic credentials--well-published writers, poets, working artists, educators, academics, mental health practitioners, and health professionals.

Table of Contents

Contributors Acknowledgments and Dedications

Peggy Sapphire and Shirley Scott


Darcy L. Harris, Ph.D. FT

Editors Preface

Peggy Sapphire, MS Counselor

Preface to Commentaries

Shirley Scott, RN, MS, CT, Grief Counselor


Dr. Kenneth Doka, Ph.D. Gerontologist

SECTION 1 Moving Toward Forgiveness

CHAPTER 1 Harold

Rosemary Wyman

CHAPTER 2 Rubber Man

Anne Bower

CHAPTER 3 Selected Slides

Elizabeth Kerlikowske

CHAPTER 4 Never Given a Name

James McGrath

SECTION 2 "He's Dead and I'm Not"

CHAPTER 5 When Pawpaw's Spearmint Went to Heaven

Linde Grace White

CHAPTER 6 The Absence of . . .

Barbara Traynor

CHAPTER 7 He's Dead and Im Not


CHAPTER 8 Missing You

Jean Gant

CHAPTER 9 The Ride

Kristina Grey

SECTION 3. A Change of Worlds

CHAPTER 10 Barking at the Knocks

J. Bradley Brandts

CHAPTER 11 Un-grieving a Death


CHAPTER 12 Chronic and Acute

Marion Cohen

CHAPTER 13 The World Cracking Open or Living Atop a Cultural, Emotional San Andreas Fault

Deborah Dashow Ruth

CHAPTER 14 Then, a Deep Silence

Korkut Onaran

SECTION 4 As the Dust Settles

CHAPTER 15 Geography of a Marriage

Barbara Hoffman


Denise Handlon

CHAPTER 17 How I Survived

Penelope Scambly Schott

CHAPTER 18 Postmortem

Joyce Lombard

CHAPTER 19 Ex-humation: Digging Up the Past

Mary Kolada Scott


Peggy Sapphire


Grief Reactions to the Death of a Divorced Spouse

Further Readings



Sapphire, Doka, Scott


About the Series

Death, Value and Meaning Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health