Widows' Words: Women Write on the Experience of Grief, the First Year, the Long Haul, and Everything in Between

Widows' Words: Women Write on the Experience of Grief, the First Year, the Long Haul, and Everything in Between


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Becoming a widow is one of the most traumatic life events that a woman can experience. Yet, as this remarkable new collection reveals, each woman responds to that trauma differently. Here, forty-three widows tell their stories, in their own words.
Some were widowed young, while others were married for decades. Some cared for their late partners through long terminal illnesses, while others lost their partners suddenly. Some had male partners, while others had female partners. Yet each of these women faced the same basic dilemma: how to go on living when a part of you is gone.
Widows’ Words is arranged chronologically, starting with stories of women preparing for their partners’ deaths, followed by the experiences of recent widows still reeling from their fresh loss, and culminating in the accounts of women who lost their partners many years ago but still experience waves of grief. Their accounts deal honestly with feelings of pain, sorrow, and despair, and yet there are also powerful expressions of strength, hope, and even joy. Whether you are a widow yourself or have simply experienced loss, you will be sure to find something moving and profound in these diverse tales of mourning, remembrance, and resilience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813599533
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 05/03/2019
Edition description: None
Pages: 282
Sales rank: 1,012,424
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 16 - 18 Years

About the Author

Nan Bauer-Maglin worked at City University of New York for almost forty years as a professor and administrator. She now volunteers for Girls Write Now and The Whitney Museum. She is the editor or coeditor of many books, including Cut Loose: (Mostly) Older Women Talk about the End of (Mostly) Long-term Relationships.

Table of Contents

Introduction Nan Bauer-Maglin 1

Part I Prologue-Expectant Widows

What We Were Afraid Of: A Memoir Alice Goode-Elman 17

The Queen Has Spoken Kelli Dunham 29

Living a Life Penelope Dugan 33

Preparing for the Journey through Grief Melanie K. Finney 41

Deserted/Dumped for a Second Time Nan Bauer-Maglin 48

From Pre-Widow to Merry Widow Ellen Schrecker 52

Part II Recent Widows

A Widow's Notes: The First Six Months Nan Bauer-Maglin 65

My Other Half Raquel Ramkhelawan Interviewed Maxine Marshall 72

The Cloak Lauren Vanett 78

"The Most Precious Fit": A Dialogue with C. S. Lewis's A Grief Observed Alice Derry 88

On Grief Michele Neff Hernandez 98

Wedding Rings Elisa Clarke Wadham 103

The Afterlife of an Archive Deborah G. Kaplan 110

A Healing Garden P. C. Moorehead 115

You See, I Told You So! Mimi Schwartz 117

Yes, I Miss My Husband, but I'm Also Discovering the Pleasures of Living Alone Anne Bernays 120

Part III Long-Time Widows

The Grief Convention Edie Butler 127

10 Scary Things I Have Done since My Husband Died Debby Mayer 133

Being Alone Sonia Jaffe Bobbins 140

Re-creating My Life Barbara E. Harwell 143

Becoming Maggie Maggie Madagame 149

Who I Am Revealed Roni Sherman Ramos 155

Losing the Artist, Living with His Art Doris Friedensohn 159

After the Aftermath Nancy H. Womack 168

Three Poems Joan Michelson 170

Part IV Unique Takes or Digging Deeper

Widow-to-Widow Tracy Milcendeau Merle Froschl Andrea Hirshman Molly McEneny Heather Slawecki 175

Parenting as a Widow Kathleen Fordyce 185

Memories of a Widow's Daughter Patricia Life 190

Lost Acts… Nancy Shamban 199

Dealing with Double Loss: Husband and Hearing Susanne Braham 204

Synchronicity and the Secular Mind Alice Radosh 211

Mourning American-Style Parvin Hajizadeh 216

The Rocks That Bind Jean Y. Leung 219

On Not Feeling Sad Joan Gussow 224

What They Don't Tell You Kathryn Temple 229

Nine Things Resilient People Do after Losing a Spouse or Partner Carrie L. West 235

Make Lemonade?! Lise Menn 243

Part V Epilogue

The Missing Vow Christine Silverstein 255

Acknowledgments 259

Artist's Statement Tara Sabharwal 261

Notes on Contributors 263

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