Losing a husband and becoming a widow is a role no woman is prepared for. How could she be? The experience is one that stops most of us in our tracks. How will she cope? What should we do?
Joan Didion addressed this in her best-selling book, A Year of Magical Thinking, written after her husband died at their dinner table. Her poignant words were the framework for the successful Broadway play.
Now there’s another aid for widows. Marcia A. Curran, who lost her husband when he was 56, culled through her personal journeys to find 100 “simple pieces of advice from another widow” for others who find themselves suddenly in the same place.
Curran admits up front that she is not a “professional” in the field of grief, only that she may know how new widows feel because “I had the same feelings when my husband died.”
Designed with one brief suggestion per page, as much as many recently widowed women may be able to focus on at a sitting, Curran’s advice -- to the point and ranging from the practical to the bittersweet -- covers many of the situations widows will find themselves in. If she decides to spend all of her time with her grandchildren, Curran advices her “not to get overtired. This is your time.” She also encourages widows to forgive themselves when they have thoughts they don’t know what to do with: “It is normal to look at married couples and wonder if they know how lucky they are” and “Just remember if a man your age smiles and says hello, it doesn’t mean he’s interested in you…”
Widow Words is available at bookstores nationwide, online and at www.VandB.com or by calling 1-800-789-7916.
By Teresa K. Flatley