The Truth About Widowhood

In the past decade, social scientists with unprecedented access to large groups of widows and widowers have learned that, as individual an experience as grief may be, there are specific patterns to its intensity and duration that are arguably more helpful in guiding the bereaved in what to expect. Isn’t it time we update our popular notions about widowhood as well?

Read more from my Op-Ed in the New York Times, February 15th, 2011.

2 Responses to The Truth About Widowhood

  1. Cherie Renfrow Starry

    I just finished reading “The Truth About Grief” and found it to be refreshing in its look at the cultural underpinnings of loss and subsequent grief. The book presents rarely expressed views on the grief experience and dissolves many of the myths we hold about the grieving process. The book is very thoroughly researched and extremely well-written. The only caution I would make is that research continues to vary in its findings. George Bonanno is frequently cited in the book and while his credentials are authentic, we should remember that that his views are from a different origin than are the views of Kubler-Ross and David Kessler. Yet, the underlying thesis of most research is that grieving is a very individualized process.

    Speaking as a widow myself, I found truth throughout your book and in the articles you post. It is comforting to know that what I experienced is normal and somewhat enriching. Thank you.

    Cherie Renfrow Starry
    Private Practice Mental Health Therapist

  2. I so appreciate your view on grief and resilience . The are updated and well studied . I believe it is true in many ways esp. the standards for men and women’s grief are vastly different.
    I take a bit of exception on your op-ed piece in the NYTimes re: Joyce Carol Oates new book … while I have no issue that Ms. Oates was engaged after 11 months of her husband”s passing and married shortly thereafter. I find a lack of integrity that her engagement and marriage was not disclosed. It was a FACT and it was important to the book and her life .
    I question her motive for not disclosing it , her criticism of Ms. Didion’s memoir and success of her latest book . She could have offered her audience a true lesson on resilience .
    Continued blessings in your work …it is needed now more than ever .
    Beth Dannhauser

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