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Published November 29, 2021 in

Pat Dollard on Ambiguous loss following his partners’ disappearance and LGBTQ+ grief

Episode 77

The experience of grief within the LGBTQ+ community can be profoundly painful as a result of past losses connected to sexuality.

This can be experienced as bereavement (the AIDS crisis), stigmatisation, marginalisation, tacit acceptance from family and community, outright homophobia or erasure by parents or other family members. Many young Irish people left Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s to find a larger gay community and the relief of anonymity in bigger cities such as London.

In this episode, Irishman Pat Dollard takes us through the choices he made and why, how he met his partner Mike, the story of their relationship and the utter shock and devastation experienced when Mike went missing while on holidays four years ago.

We explore ambiguous loss, meaning making and how grief changes us, as well as the importance of LGBTQ specific bereavement groups. Thank you Pat, for this very touching conversation.

If you would like to get in touch with the LGBTQ+ group at the good grief trust, please email

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