Launch of bereavement guide for same-sex partners


SURVIVING PARTNERS in a same-sex relationship face unique challenges when their partner dies, the Irish Hospice Foundation said yesterday.

A bereavement guide for gay and lesbian couples was launched by the foundation and the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (Glen) last night. A recent study by the hospice foundation found that healthcare professionals were sometimes complicit in reinforcing the partner’s invisibility.

“Unfortunately, as a society, we still seem to validate some losses over others,” Dr Susan Delaney, bereavement services manager at the foundation, said yesterday.

“The surviving partner in a same-sex relationship is not always given the care and support that might be afforded to a widow or widower,” she said.

Sometimes lifelong relationships are hidden or invisible and often the loss and the griever are not recognised said Odhrán Allen of Glen. “This has led to lifelong partners sitting at the back of the church, unacknowledged, unsupported and alone,” he said.

The guide’s main message is that gay and lesbian people who have lost a partner need the same support as heterosexual people.