Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Thursday, October 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 47° Clear


“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.

Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.