Cover image for The widowed self : the older woman's journey through widowhood
The widowed self : the older woman's journey through widowhood
Van den Hoonaard, Deborah K. (Deborah Kestin), 1951-
Publication Information:
Waterloo, Ont. : Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
viii, 178 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ1058 . V364 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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How do older women come to terms with widowhood? Are they vulnerable or courageous, predictable or creative in dealing with this life challenge?

Most books about widows usually focus on younger women; this book interweaves the voices of older widows their experiences and insights to show how they have come to terms with widowhood and have recreated their lives in new, unsuspected ways. The widows speak about how they relate to their children, their friends, to men. With powerful emotions they describe their husbands' final illnesses and deaths, and the challenging early days of widowhood. Disputing stereotypes about older women and widows, The Widowed Self allows the reader to visualize the impact of losing one's life partner and offers a new way of thinking about widowhood.

This new book by Deborah Kestin van den Hoonaard fills a void in previous work on widowhood. Rather than seeing these women as unfortunate, passive victims of life, the reader will come to appreciate the strength and creativity with which these women face one of life's greatest challenges, a challenge that affects more than half of all women over the age of sixty-five.

Widows and their families, scholars, social workers and other professionals who work with older adults will all be interested in reading The Widowed Self: The Older Woman's Journey through Widowhood .

Author Notes

Deborah Kestin van den Hoonaard grew up in New York. She obtained her Ph.D. in sociology from Loyola University Chicago. Dr. van den Hoonaard is an associate professor of gerontology at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Part 1 Embarking on the Journey
1 The End of the Old Way of Lifep. 15
2 The Journey Beginsp. 27
Part 2 Experiencing Relationships
3 They Have Their Own Life: Relationships with Childrenp. 45
4 Relationships with Friendsp. 63
5 Relationships with Menp. 77
Part 3 Discovering New Paths
6 I Never Knew I Could...p. 91
7 And Speaking of Moneyp. 103
8 Connections to the Communityp. 117
9 Conclusion: Discovering New Pathsp. 135
Part 4
Appendix A Methodologyp. 151
Appendix B Interview Guidep. 163
Bibliographyp. 165
Indexp. 173