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Posts tagged: Widow

“A Widow’s Story” is powerful reading

I'm about halfway through Joyce Carol Oates' memoir A Widow's Story and it's a stunner. She lost her husband of 48 years in about a week after a lung infection took him down. Every chapter is filled with insight into widowhood, as I've heard from other widows and widowers.

Here's one excerpt that reinforces why we started this blog now. Though most baby boomers have experienced the death of a loved one by these ages, some have not. For some, the deaths or crises don't happen until well into middle age, as was the case with Oates.

I had not experienced much; nor would I experience much until I was well into middle-age — the illnesses and deaths of my parents, this unexpected death of my husband. We play at paste till qualified for pearl says Emily Dickinson. Playing at paste is much of our early lives. And then, with the violence of a door slammed shut by wind rushing through a house, life catches up with us.

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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

Ask a question: Catherine welcomes questions about aging issues and grief. Email her at

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