Frances, Age 69
I recently moved (from one residence to another, in the same city). While I was packing up, I weeded out my books (again), and I came across “Necessary Losses” by Judith Viorst.
Some years ago, a friend had given it to me saying that it was a ‘must read’. However, all I knew about Mrs. Viorst was that she was a columnist for some women’s magazines — that alone was enough to turn me off. Additionally, the book was written in 1986 — so how relevant could it possibly be, so many years later. However, instead of putting it in a box for the thrift shop, I put it in the box of books for my nightstand. Right after I moved — the first night in my new home, I opened the book at random and read Chap. 18. And I cried. Then I read another chapter at random — and I cried some more.
I wish I’d had this book in my 20s — except it wasn’t even written then 🙂 — and I probably would not have understood it in my 20s. However, by my mid-40s, I would have understood a lot of it. Now that I’m almost 70 — I understand all of it (I think). Too bad. My life might not have been much easier if I had read this in my mid-40s — I mean, events in my life would have unfolded as they did and were going to — but mentally, emotionally and even spiritually, I would not have so ‘tempest tossed’.
This is a great book for us. Stop whatever you’re doing, go to Amazon, and order a used copy. When I start my 70Candles group in the fall, this is the first book we’re going to read and discuss.
I’ve been saying for years that we’re looking at old age completely wrongly, but I’ve never been articulate enough to explain exactly why. This book explains very well why we have been seeing old age incorrectly without directly saying so.
Just for the record, this is not a ‘pop psychology’ book nor is this a ‘clinical’ book and unreadable. Ms. Viorst, who is now 87, spent 6 years at Freudian-based Washington Psychoanalytic Institute (don’t let that scare you), and the notes in the back of the book are voluminous. It is a very well-written and well-documented book.