Farewell to Disneyland: My Decade of Young Widowhood

August 1, 2019 - Comment

From the moment her husband Andrew announced, “Honey, I’ve got blood in my stool,” to the day ten years later when she bought popcorn for her wedding to James, Val realized that constantly managing her expectations was her new normal. She fought cancer with Andrew and was widowed at thirty-seven with three sons aged eight,

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From the moment her husband Andrew announced, “Honey, I’ve got blood in my stool,” to the day ten years later when she bought popcorn for her wedding to James, Val realized that constantly managing her expectations was her new normal. She fought cancer with Andrew and was widowed at thirty-seven with three sons aged eight, five, and three. She was forced to grieve while living in the fishbowl communities she loved: her church, her Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain, and families on both sides. She also grappled with being single for practically the first time in her adult life. As she muddled her way through single life and parenting, she found that humor, loved ones’ help, connecting with God, and a creative survival mentality set her on the path of a fulfilling transition. This book is intended for those in grief who don’t mind laughing and for those supporting them who accept the messy mix of the two. In an increasingly post-religious America, Val also attempts to explore how faith can find active expression, without tying up every question into a neat answer. Those who believe in the power of community support will recognize their values in the details of what Val found to be a most essential survival tool: other people.

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