WIDOW'S WALK: A Personal Journey Through Loss, Fear, Anger, and Love by Pamela Cuming

WIDOW'S WALK: A Personal Journey Through Loss, Fear, Anger, and Love

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After an initial jolt, yet another narrative of grief and healing--accomplished with more ease, perhaps, than usual. Hours after he'd been brought home from the hospital, supposedly recovered from his second heart attack in four years, Pamela Cuming's husband Bill suffered a third, fatal attack and died in her arms. This wrenching scene marked the end of five very happy years of marriage (the second for both) and opens her account of the first year of widowhood. After relying on calm, wise Bill, 17 years her senior, Pam found herself, at 34, suddenly alone at the heard of a large household (which included her daughters Monica, eleven, and Melissa, six, and Bill's teenage son Pete), and at the helm of a successful Connecticut consulting firm. But she had advantages. Bill's long recuperative absence had prepared her for sole responsibility. Her financial situation was fine; she knew the business from being an active partner. Her relationships with her children were secure, and she could count on the love and support of an endless group of friends and relations. Her own large immediate family, emigrants to Australia, sent brother Clyde--a sane, steadying presence here--as its envoy. Pam also had inner resources. A highly compulsive doer, she had always alleviated anxiety by acting; now, as she tells it, she held terror at bay by taking charge, going on, keeping relentlessly busy. (She also half-recognizes that this suppression of mourning may have made the process more difficult.) Her sense of herself as a tough, independent woman made her strong, as did her belief that Bill was with her, yet free in a blissful after-life. And there were new relationships, at hand and in sight. . . . It's very much a minute-to-minute story, often scripted in dialogue and, like Pam herself, not draggy--but short on insights, expressiveness, or (beyond that opening scene) emotional clout.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1981
Publisher: Crown