The Good Widow: A Memoir of Living with Loss

The Good Widow: A Memoir of Living with Loss

by Jennifer Katz
The Good Widow: A Memoir of Living with Loss

The Good Widow: A Memoir of Living with Loss

by Jennifer Katz


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What do we do when life ends? How do we honor the past while moving into an unimaginable, uncertain future? This tender, bracingly honest memoir explores how Jenny, a young widow, navigates the sudden loss of Tris, her beloved spouse of eighteen years.

With Tris gone, Jenny suddenly finds herself a single mom to a teen daughter and adult stepson. The newly splintered family finds ways to celebrate “milestone firsts” —including birthdays and other holidays that, without Tris, now feel hollow and bittersweet. Jenny finds herself drawn to new people, including other widows and psychic mediums, and becoming open to different kinds of connections based on sharing and spirituality. She also embarks on a halting quest for new romantic love. Initially, as she endures awkward first dates and unpleasant interactions with self-proclaimed “nice guys,” she resists her new reality —but over time, she finds someone unexpectedly comforting, blending the pain of loss with the pleasure of closeness. For readers who have also lost a loved one, The Good Widow offers both a comforting guide to grief and a form of companionship; for everyone, it’s a beautiful example of how even after death, love endures.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781647421496
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 08/10/2021
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 1,143,617
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Jennifer Katz was born and raised in South Florida along with a twin brother, a younger sister, and a toy poodle named Muffin. At age twenty-five, she earned her degree in clinical psychology and met Tristram Smith at a job interview. After she was hired, they became friends, and then more. Jenny and Tris married and moved to upstate New York with a son. Widowed at age forty-five, Jenny now lives with her teen daughter. She loves reading, yoga, musical theater, and broccoli. An award-winning professor, she teaches about gender, sexuality, and helping relationships. This is her first book.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Introduction (The Feminist Widow) xv

Part I Contracting in Pain

The End 3

The Saddest Thing 14

Dreams and Destruction 18

Bone Cold 21

Love Letter Number One 23

Shell 24

Emptiness/Spaciousness 31

Letter to Grief 34

Viability 36

Almost Normal 38

Reflecting on Pain 41

Part II Expanding in Love

Valentine's Day 45

The Medium Place 51

The Medium 58

Love Letter Number Two 65

Camp Widow, Part One-Alone, Together 67

Camp Widow, Part Two-All the Feelings 72

Camp Widow, Part Three-The End 78

Birthday Letter 81

Mother's Day 84

DNA 87

Tend and Befriend 91

Reflecting on Love 94

Part III Halting Steps Forward

Release 97

How to Date a Widow 104

Mr. Nice Guy 107

Love Letter Number Three 120

The First Second Date 122

Dessert 125

Green Light 129

A Full and Happy Life 133

Tenderness 136

Dualities 140

Reflecting on Hope 142

Conclusion-All You Need 143

Afterword 146

Acknowledgements 147

About the Author 149

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