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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.
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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 validating—reminding 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 AmericaAbout 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.
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