From the Inside Flap
From the Introduction: Bereaved readers then taught me one of the great values of that concept. As one reader wrote, 'It gave my grief a name.' The fact that someone addressed these types of losses eased the isolation and the stigma.THE DISENFRANCHISED: Stories of Life and Grief When An Ex-Spouse Dies does that in a very powerful and personal way. The narratives and poetry reaffirm the many types of relationships that exist after a death, and myriad ways that ex-spouses mourn the demise of an erstwhile and failed partner. This alone is validatingreminding surviving ex-spouses that others have experienced this grief as well.These stories offer more, though, than simple validation. They offer tools, strategies to cope with the loss. In doing so, they offer even another gift: hope. These stories reaffirm not only the complexity of human relationships but also the resiliency of the human spirit to surmount even the most complex and difficult losses. Kenneth J. Doka, PhD, Professor of Gerontology, College of New Rochelle, NY, Senior Consultant, Hospice Foundation of America -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- IN PRAISE OF "It's been worth the wait for such a comprehensive anthology of the bereavement stories of ex-spouses. Some relationships were happy, some less so. The relationships ranged from decades to just a few years, and we can learn much from the honesty of the experiences each writer shares with us. An excellent resource for both professionals and lay readers." Rose Cooper, BTheol, MHSc, Grief Support Services, Melbourne, Australia " 'Truth,' writes Peggy Sapphire, is how we remember, and what we bring to memory. In these pages, surviving ex-spouses speak from the heart of their emotional truth about a form of bereavement whose complexity is compounded by its lack of social sanction. Individually, the accounts lay bare in memorable poetry and prose the good, the bad, and the ugly of relationships lost twiceonce to divorce, and then to deathand the nuanced empathic terrain into which family, friends, and counselors are invited to step in their aftermath. Collectively, the stories give new meaning to the term disenfranchised grief, encouraging a deeper reading of its implications, whether encountered between the covers of this remarkable volume or within the walls of our therapeutic practices." Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD, Editor, Techniques of Grief Therapy: Creative Practices for Counseling the Bereaved "A unique resource, Peggy Sapphire's book fleshes out a variety of situations leading to and emanating from an ex-spouse's death. Combined with Shirley Scott's perceptive commentaries, this provides the reader with the proverbial 'best of both worlds'richly detailed personal narratives and professional analysis to identify critical dynamics, anchor them within the thanatology literature, and present treatment implications. A groundbreaking treatment of one of the most common disenfranchised losses, this compelling book also educates about critical issues pertaining to all types of loss. This is an excellent asset for mourners confronted with the death of an ex-spouse, those who seek to assist them, and thanatologists in general. I highly recommend it." Therese A. Rando Ph.D., BCETS, BCBT, Clinical Director, The Institute for the Study and Treatment of Loss, Warwick, RI, Author, Coping With the Sudden Death of Your Loved One: Self-Help for Traumatic Bereavement "These touching stories capture the complex experience of grief when an ex-spouse dies. In a world where divorce is common and we long for easy, quick answers, the authors challenge us to expand our understanding of and compassion for the growing numbers of individuals and families who will struggle to live with this conflicted loss." Marcia Lattanzi-Licht, LHD, LPC, Psychotherapist, Author,The Hospice Choice "This book is engaging, informative, and inspirational. Whether you have experienced the death of an ex-spouse or seek to support someone who has, you will find this book illuminating. The deeply personal stories of the contributors, so frankly told, will draw you in, and you may have trouble, as did I, putting the book down. The accompanying clinical commentaries, skillfully written by S. Scott, will give you a grief counselor's perspective. This is an excellent piece of qualitative research. I highly recommend this enjoyable and enlightening book." Janice Nadeau, PhD, LP, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Fellow in Thanatology
About the Author
Peggy Sapphire, MS (Lehman College, City University of New York), is an educator/counselor in New York State public schools, specialized in issues of single-parent families and children of divorced parents, and has presented numerous workshops for educators related to these concerns. As an adjunct instructor, she taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Educational Psychology and Counseling. She is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling. Sapphire is the author of two poetry collections, A Possible Explanation (Partisan Press, 2006) and In the End a Circle (Antrim House, 2009). Her nonfiction appears in Education Digest on the subject of school violence and its relevance to student disenfranchisement. Her website is www.PeggySapphire.com.