Some readers might already know this, but in addition to sex I have also been interested in the topic of death and have been actively exploring aspects of death-positivity for a while now. (You can check out some things I’ve written on my other blog, Needle & Bow.)
When I found out this book had been released I bought my copy but I waited until I had time to really focus and take my time while reading this book.
I’m glad I did. Though this book is not a tome by any means – evenly spaced text, 172 pages, and a 5×7 trim size—there was much in this book that deserved reflection and being present with a lot of emotions.
And, no, I’m not going through grief right now. I have never experienced losing a romantic or sexual partner to death. I’ll be honest—just imagining this made my heart ache and I had to pace myself through reading this book. But I’m very happy I read this book when I did. If (or when) I do go through a situation in which I must seek “sex after grief” I will have a comforting and guiding resource in this book.
Joan Price is an advocate for ageless sexuality and her other books include The Ultimate Guide to Sex After Fifty and Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex. The author mentions in the text she is coming from an older perspective on this topic and many of the quotes from real people about aspects of grief and sexuality are also older. But there are also some voices from younger or middle aged grievers, sex educators, and authors as well.
There are so many things I absolutely loved about this book. Some include:
- “A Grieve Shares” sections interspersed through all the chapters where real people are quoted to illustrate different topics.
- The inclusion of a wide range of sexualities including queer, heterosexual, and polyamorous relationships.
- The raw, honest, and vulnerable excerpts from the author’s grief and memory journals and her own insights in her struggles and journey working through grief.
- A myriad of resources throughout the text—I wrote down four more books about grief I want to read!
Overall this book covers so many aspects of grief and sexuality while nurturing a shame-free philosophy. The author emphasizes that grief (and sex) is personal and unique to every individual, deserving respect and exploration.
I am so happy this book exists in the world. I think it is a solid resource written in a way that is inviting and not overwhelming. I hope libraries add it to their collections and grievers can find and be helped by this book.
I’m in my early thirties but have dealt with chronic health issues my whole life. Though I’ve talked with my spouse about death, this book prompted an even deeper conversation and we learned important things about each other and what we will want at the end of our lives. That is definitely a gift and I am grateful to this book for playing that role in my life.