In the first year of her life after the death of her spouse—of almost forty years—author Anne Roiphe must face all the usual phases of loss and grieving.
As she weaves together the tale of her journey, she moves back and forth, between memory—of her husband, of their life together—and new experiences of life alone.
Old friends seem unfamiliar, in their continued state of coupledom, and new friends—men she meets online at Match.com—seem alternately odd and/or discordant in that their stories do not mesh with hers. She practices being alone—going to restaurants, movies, museums, etc.—and also just being solitary in her apartment. She looks around, studying the landscape of her new life, considering the alternatives. When she isn't bursting into tears, or dreaming of a time long gone.
Before she is ever at ease with the empty space in her bed, she is carefully treading water...not wanting to encroach on the lives of her grown children, carefully considering those boundaries.
It is almost like beginning again in an entirely different universe, she discovers. She keeps reaching out, though, despite the disappointments, until finally, at year's end, she comes to a place of acceptance. Almost. If she never again finds a "soul mate," she will survive. Grief will not be her constant companion. At the end of this memoir, she states: "If the owl and the pussycat went to sea in a pea-green boat and the owl flew off, the pussycat better pick up the oars and row toward shore—she has, after all, neither wings nor gills. She must dance by herself by the light of the moon."
From the author of "Fruitful: A Real Mother" and "Lovingkindness," Anne Roiphe's "Epilogue: A Memoir" meaningfully explores a woman's journey—of starting over. Of the detritus of grief and its aftermath...and the gradual picking up the pieces of a new life in a strange new universe.
Author of: "Miles to Go," etc.
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