The Widowed Self
187 pages
English

Découvre YouScribe en t'inscrivant gratuitement

Je m'inscris

Découvre YouScribe en t'inscrivant gratuitement

Je m'inscris
Obtenez un accès à la bibliothèque pour le consulter en ligne
En savoir plus
187 pages
English
Obtenez un accès à la bibliothèque pour le consulter en ligne
En savoir plus

Description

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.


Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 01 janvier 2006
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780889205475
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0035€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

The Widowed Self The Older Woman’s Journey through Widowhood
Deborah Kestin van den Hoonaard
Wilfrid Laurier University Press w
This book has been published with the help of a grant from the Humani ties and Social Sciences Federation of Canada, using funds provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts for our pub lishing program. We acknowledge the financial support of the Govern ment of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program for our publishing activities.
Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data Van den Hoonaard, Deborah K. (Deborah Kestin), 1951 The widowed self : the older woman’s journey through widowhood Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0889203466 1. Widowhood. 2. Widows — New Brunswick. I. Title. HQ1058.V36 2001 306.88 C999324799
© 2001 Wilfrid Laurier University Press Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5
Cover design by Leslie Macredie, using a pastel by Suzanne Maloney entitledÉnigme Printed in Canada
All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyrights hereon may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means—graphic, electronic or mechanical—without the prior written permission of the publisher. Any request for photocopying, recording, taping or reproducing in information storage and retrieval systems of any part of this book shall be directed in writ ing to the Canadian Reprography Collective, 214 King Street West, Suite 312, Toronto, Ontario M5H 3S6.
This book is dedicated with love to my sister, Ricki Kestin, who always challenged me to be more than I thought I could be.
And to my parents, Krass and Estelle Kestin, whose love and confidence in me have seen me through all the days of my life.
This page intentionally left blank
Contents
Acknowledgements .............................................................................. Introduction ..........................................................................................
Part One: Embarking on the Journey 1 The End of the Old Way of Life .................................................... 2 The Journey Begins .........................................................................
Part Two: Experiencing Relationships 3 They Have Their Own Life: Relationships with Children .......... 4 Relationships with Friends ............................................................. 5 Relationships with Men ..................................................................
Part Three: Discovering New Paths 6 I Never Knew I Could ... ................................................................ 7 And Speaking of Money ................................................................. 8 Connections to the Community ................................................... 9 Conclusion: Discovering New Paths .............................................
Part Four Appendix A: Methodology .................................................................. Appendix B: Interview Guide .............................................................. Bibliography .......................................................................................... Index ......................................................................................................
v
vii 1
15 27
45 63 77
91 103 117 135
151 163 165 173
This page intentionally left blank
Acknowledgements
’ve always felt that writing acknowledgements must be the most enter I taining part of writing a book and the most humbling. You get to sit around and try to remember everybody who had a part in your writing your book—and, as has been said many times before—writing a book is never an individual achievement. First, thanks must go to the women who shared their stories of los ing their husbands and attempting to rebuild their lives. This was often a painful experience for them, but they shared many confidences with me and have inspired me with their courage and resilience. Many mentioned that they hope their participation in the study will help others. Helena Z. Lopata carried out the first major study on widowhood, and she has encouraged my interest in the topic. All who study widow hood have benefited from her groundbreaking work, and, on a more per sonal level, she has always prodded me to work at a higher level. Others at Loyola University of Chicago, where I completed my Ph.D., have been instrumental in encouraging my interest in widowhood. Christine L. Fry, codirector of my dissertation with Helena Lopata, and Judith Wittner both have maintained an interest in my work and have contributed to my ability to do good qualitative work. Howard S. Becker allowed me to sit in on his Field Methods course at Northwestern University and was a member of my dissertation com
vii
viii
The Widowed Self
mittee as well. The stories of his experiences in research are a true inspira tion. I also appreciate being able to keep up with his work by simply click ing on to ‘‘Howie’s Home Page’’ on the Internet. The Third Age Centre at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, was a partner in the research. Its thendirector, Mary Lou Arseneault, first encouraged me to apply for research funding. Her enthusiasm for the pro ject has been unflagging, and the friendship that has resulted is precious. Others at the Third Age Centre, notably Chris Korth and Kerry Smith, provided excel lent administrative support. Shelley Coyle prepared the more than 2,000 pages of interview transcripts. Mary Radford and Rachel Matchett helped to develop the sixweek ‘‘Striving on Your Own’’ workshop that the Third Age Centre put on when my plans to observe a local support group fell through. Ann Ingram of The Daily Gleanerwrote a number of articles about the research. Although a book is written in solitude, the enthusiasm and encourage ment of others can keep you going when you feel that the manuscript will never be finished. Colleagues at St. Thomas University showed unwavering interest in my work. I would particularly like to mention John McKendy, Sandra Wachholz, Gary Kenyon, Bill Randall and Penny Granter. As well, participants at the Annual Qualitative Analysis Conference put up with and were even excited about papers based on this project for several years in a row. Karen March has been particularly supportive. Other friends, particu larly Tim and Bev Rayne, had a continuing interest in the book which never ceased to motivate me to finish. The research on which this book is based was funded by a Commu nity Researcher Award of the Seniors’ Independence Research Program of Health Canada (NHRDP award no. 6604111603). A pilot project was funded by the Grants to Small Universities Program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Sandra Woolfrey, formerly of WLU Press, was unfailingly helpful, and she helped shepherd me through the Aid to Scholarly Publications Program process. Others at the Press, notably Carroll Klein and Leslie Macredie, have been most helpful in the later stages of preparation. Families of authors always seem to occupy the final paragraph of acknowledgements. My three children, LisaJo, Lynn (aka Cheryl) and Jordan always made me feel that my writing this book is important to them—and they have listened to hundreds of hours of my talk about the project at meals. My husband, Will, makes such a profound contribution to everything I do that there are no words to describe it. From keeping a chart of my progress on his filing cabinet to telling everyone he meets about my work, his actions display a profound belief in both the impor tance of this book and my ability to write it that is almost overwhelming.
Introduction
his book is about how older women experience widowhood. I first T became interested in this topic when a student lent me a book calledWhen Things Get Back to Normal(Dohaney 1989), a published journal of the author’s first year of widowhood. It took me two hours to read the book, and I found myself crying along with the author and feel ing that, for the first time, I was at the beginning of understanding the profound impact that losing one’s husband has on one’s life. This was a far cry from the dry literature on ‘‘social support’’ and ‘‘wellbeing’’ that I had encountered in most of my reading in the area of gerontology in gen 1 eral, and widowhood in particular. When Things Get Back to Normalhad such an impact on me that I found myself seeking out any published, autobiographical accounts of widowhood that I could find. These accounts were universally moving and evocative, and they convinced me that hearing widows’ stories in their own words would shed a much more comprehensive light on the social meaning of widowhood as well as allow us to catch a glimpse of the pro found emotional ordeal that is at the core of that experience. The women who wrote these accounts underwent a pivotal loss of identity, ‘‘identity foreclosure’’ (van den Hoonaard 1997), through which they felt stripped of who they were at every level—they did not know how to define themselves to themselves, and they became different people to
Notes to the Introduction are on p. 12. 1
  • Accueil Accueil
  • Univers Univers
  • Ebooks Ebooks
  • Livres audio Livres audio
  • Presse Presse
  • BD BD
  • Documents Documents