WIDOW'S JOURNEY: A Return to the Loving Self by Xenia Rose

WIDOW'S JOURNEY: A Return to the Loving Self

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The third highly personal and brutally honest chronicle this year of a widow's struggle to restore her shattered world. Comparing Rose's work with Rebecca Rice's A Time to Mourn (p. 165) and Elizabeth Neeld's Seven Choices (p. 162), one is struck by the vast difference between each woman's ultimate experience and coping methods, despite shared initial feelings of total disarray and, later, depression. Rose, wife of cellist Leonard Rose, lost her entire sense of self, that of a celebrity's wife, after her husband's death. She contends that a widow's most important task is to realize that the old self is forever lost and to develop a vital new self with new interests, new friends, and a new future. In her experience, old friends melted away while others grew impatient with her obsessive recall of her life with Leonard. For many months, she could not endure music, due to painful flashbacks of happier times. Yet throughout she functioned capably in her psychiatric practice. She also gained fresh insights into the problems of Widowed patients, whose diverse stories she includes here. A major turning point was her reluctant entry into a support group in which widows and widowers hashed out their experiences and their feelings about loneliness, intimacy, sex, and remarriage. At long last, Rose overcame her fear of another occupying her emotional ""space"" and entered a second marriage. Frank and forceful, an impressive addition to the growing library of memoirs of bereavement.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1990
Publisher: Henry Holt