Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives
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In this transcendent and infectiously wise memoir, Becky Aikman—a widow, too young, too modern to accept the role—forms an unlikely group with five other young widows, each seeking a way forward in a strange and disquieting world. A warm, witty, and compassionate guide on this journey, Aikman explores surprising new discoveries about how people are transformed by adversity, learning the value of new experiences, humor, and friendship. The Saturday Night Widows band together to bring these ideas to life, striking out on ever more far-flung adventures and navigating the universal perils of finding love and meaning.
Theirs is a transporting true story of six marriages, six heartbreaks, and one shared beginning—an inspiring testament to what friends can achieve when they hold each other up. Saturday Night Widows is the rare book that will make you laugh, think, and remind yourself that despite the utter unpredictability and occasional tragedy of life, it is also precious, fragile, and often more joyous than we recognize.
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Pilates classes, a widow. By the start of the memorial service three days after Bernie died, I could already tell that nothing about this role would match my admittedly ill-informed expectations, let alone those of most of the people who knew me. “This is going to be an ordeal,” one of them said before the service began at a chapel on the Columbia campus. Suffocating in a long-sleeve dress in sudden, unseasonable heat, I girded myself to make it to the benediction without disintegrating
had. I’m not being negative. But anybody who knew Andries would agree. Where do you go from here?” Her voice jumped an octave. “Where do you go from here?” Throughout lunch, Dawn played her voice like a musical instrument, finding the right tone for the emotion, ranging from husky low notes when she began describing how she first met Andries to the full-throttle high of that impossible-to-answer question. Scientists had told me that the bereaved can benefit from the ability to express genuine
departments, and entertainment events like rock concerts and the Macy’s parade. Before she had children, Dawn had traveled the world helping acts like the Rolling Stones and U2. “Your kids must think that’s cool,” Marcia said without inflection. “My kids aren’t interested yet. They’re eight and nine. They loved the Barney tour, though.” I could see Marcia’s mind flipping through her mental address book. Barney. Barney who? Dawn continued: “But everyone loves Barney, because—a guy in a dinosaur
to offer the female perspective. It was a tidal change in an office where Marcia’s ability to talk sports with the guys had always been an asset. “I can start to show more femininity.” She gave a crisp nod around the store. “It’s easy to re-evaluate with this group. They’re not like anybody I’ve ever been friends with before, but they’re very accepting and open. Otherwise, you get stuck, and your life continues just as before, only without your spouse instead of with him.” She was right. So
out.” He was incorrigible—that temperament again. It fell to me to be the cautious one. Where to start? “You can’t move out of Connecticut,” I began gently. “I know you wouldn’t leave Lily—I wouldn’t love you if you could. But I don’t want to leave New York, for all kinds of reasons. I couldn’t get to my job from Connecticut, for one. And I don’t want to live in Connecticut. My life is elsewhere.” A rush of feeling pulled me toward the dream of permanence that marriage would provide, but an