Author Kathleen Iannacone lost her husband in 2011. In A Widow’s Musings, she walks readers through her grief, offering reminiscences about her marriage and her resolve to begin looking forward again, and relaying tips for others going through similar times.
When Iannacone’s husband, Chuck, was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, the couple resolved to make every moment count. During the four years of his treatment, she was determined to be an anchor and source of strength. But after Chuck’s passing, she found herself mourning his loss and exhausted from her time as a caregiver. Taking care of a sick cat brings back painful memories and leaves her rattled. Connecting with friends and tentatively beginning to date again bring her back into the world, although she wonders if her desire to find love again is “greedy.”
Iannacone’s personal story is woven with self-help advice into short chapters (generally 2-3 pages). In one chapter, for example, she includes information about grieving and moving forward pulled from three different websites. Each chapter is followed by a few blank pages for reader notes. The book also has its own Facebook page so that people with similar stories can find one another.
The author writes with the confiding voice of a girlfriend, and it’s easy to sympathize and embrace her story. Iannacone doesn’t propose to have all the answers, but she advocates reaching out to help whenever possible and being honest about the difficult emotions grief forces us all to reckon with.
Unfortunately, the book is too short to do the topic justice; at 41 pages (many set aside for reader notes), there’s very little to sink one’s teeth into. When the author relates her own stories, she has the reader in her grip, but there is just not enough content overall. Ultimately, A Widow’s Musings is thoughtful and heartfelt, and the author’s desire to help others feels sincere, but it leaves readers wanting more.
Also available as an ebook.