Responses to AIDS-related bereavement

Brigitte J. Richmond, Michael W. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This article examines the responses of 16 partners and close family members who were bereaved when a partner or family member died of AIDS. Respondents were interviewed and their responses were categorized. Special emphasis was placed on the patterns of bereavement and possible signs of posttraumatic stress disorder in the two groups of respondents. The authors found that respondents who had lost lovers or family members to AIDS focused on the positive aspects of death and dying. Most of them described loneliness and feelings of emotiness as their worst encounters with bereavement. The format of funerals appeared to encapsulate their feelings about the dead loved one and reactions to the loss. Self-euthanasia also generated ambivalent feelings. Interestingly, respondents received the most support from friends, support groups, or professional counselors rather than from family members. Most respondents showed little or no concern about their own future with regard to HIV or AIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-163
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 21 1994


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