All of This

All of This A Memoir of Death and Desire

Rebecca Woolf2022
A beautifully written “grief-and-relief” memoir that addresses difficult truths we’re afraid to admit about death, marriage, sex, and how the loss of a partner can lead to rebirth. You don’t know what kind of parent you’re going to be until you have children. You don’t know what kind of wife you’re going to be until years into your marriage. And you don’t know what kind of widow you’re going to be until you leave the death bed of your spouse and begin a different life. Rebecca and Hal had a normal marriage. Four kids, a house, jobs that paid the bills. They also had resentment that sometimes teetered on hatred, years of no sex, a handful of affairs, and long-simmering anger. Then one night, Hal felt knots in his stomach. Several doctor appointments later, he discovered he had stage four pancreatic cancer, and four months later, he was dead. He was 44. All of This chronicles the months before Hal’s death—and Rebecca’s rebirth after he was gone. With incredible honesty, Rebecca reflects on how her husband’s illness finally gave her the space to make peace with his humanity and her own: to love and to loathe him; to celebrate and criticize him, and finally, to forgive him and herself for escaping a marriage they no longer wanted. Compelling and brilliantly nuanced, All of This is one woman’s story of what it means to be a mother, a widow, and a sexual being, finding freedom on the other side of a relationship that nearly broke her.
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Photo of Vivian
4 stars
Sep 2, 2022