The Loss of a Life Partner
Although there is extensive research on the loss of a spouse, predominantly focusing on the experiences of widows, much less attention is paid to bereaved partners not married to their significant other, whether or not the partners are of the same sex. This first-of-its-kind work explores both socially sanctioned and disenfranchised grief, highlighting similarities and differences. Combining a discussion of various theories of grief with personal narratives of grieving men and women drawn from numerous interviews, and detailed case study analysis, Carolyn Ambler Walter has produced a penetrating examination of the bereavement experiences of partners in varying types of relationships. She views narratives of widows, widowers, and bereaved domestic gay and lesbian partners from a postmodern perspective that breaks away from the traditional belief that the living must detach themselves from the dead in order to move on with their lives. Instead, building on the works of postmodern grief theorists such as Klass, Silverman, and Nickman, Walter views ongoing bonds with the dead as a resource for enriching functionality in the present, and as a key to looking to the future.