From grief and mourning to aging and relationships, poet and Redbook contributor Judith Viorst presents a thoughtful and researched study in this examination of love, loss, and letting go.
Drawing on psychoanalysis, literature, and personal experience, Necessary Losses is a philosophy for understanding and accepting life’s inevitabilities.
In Necessary Losses, Judith Viorst turns her considerable talents to a serious and far-reaching subject: how we grow and change through the losses that are a certain and necessary part of life. She argues persuasively that through the loss of our mothers’ protection, the loss of the impossible expectations we bring to relationships, the loss of our younger selves, and the loss of our loved ones through separation and death, we gain deeper perspective, true maturity, and fuller wisdom about life. She has written a book that is both life affirming and life changing.
Personal experience, great literature liberally quoted here, and study of psychoanalytic theory are combined in this far-ranging, somewhat rambling book by Redbook columnist Viorst to demonstrate that growing and aging involve a succession of conscious and unconscious losses, including the loss of youth. Citing examples, and starting with the loss of the mother-child connection, she indicates that only by learning to relinquish people, places, situations and emotions that concern us at stages of life from childhood to old age can we develop a positive identity and self-image. We must realize, she argues, that these losses are a necessary part of life and growth. A strong sense of self will help us remain positive in the face of the many physical and psychological losses of old age and to accept life's final loss that is death. Losing, Viorst concludes, is the price we pay for living.