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by Judith Fox
Foreword by Joanne Lynn, MD
Essay by Michelle Reiss, PhD
Health / Aging/ Elder Care
9.5 x 9.5 inches
As surely as you will die someday, your spouse, partner, or significant other may outlive you. Yet very few people in this country, health care professionals included, are comfortable talking about end-of-life issues, death, and widowhood. The end is sudden and devastating, even if it has been forecast, but more so for those tragically taken “before their time.” How does one continue on-past the lingering questions, the new plans, the change in perspective-when this most transformative of life events eventually happens? One Foot Forward is here to help. The insightful, vital, and thoughtful stories of 20 widowed men and women in One Foot Forward by Judith Fox are woven together with beautiful portraits to document bereavement, acceptance, and perseverance in the face of the life-altering death of a spouse.
Fox, herself widowed at the age of 50, interviewed people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures; people whose spouses died as a result of chronic illnesses and sudden deaths; people who were widowed in their 20s as well as their 70s.
The journeys through bereavement in One Foot Forward are as singular as the subjects’ relationships and lives, yet the grief and life-affirming determination to survive, and eventually thrive, are universal. Remarkably, most people do keep putting one foot forward, some to profound effect: most even construct new and often more meaningful lives. In that sense, these are stories of triumph-of the human spirit finding a way to blossom after devastating loss.
“While my kids are trying to reach me at home to see if I’m dead or alive, I’m at Arthur Murray’s dancing the waltz with a 16-year-old boy.” -Margaret Bdun-Nur’
“Allan’s part of the fabric of my life and just because he died doesn’t mean that he’s gone.”
“I was a ‘macho, I-can-do-it-for-myself and I-don’t-need-any-help’ kind of guy until I became my wife’s caregiver.”
100% of the author’s royalties will be contributed to the National Hospice Foundation.
Judith Fox is an artist and a former business leader. After working as a photographer, writer, and corporate business executive in New York, Fox started a temporary service in Richmond, Virginia that was purchased by a NYSE firm in 1996. After selling her company, Judith devoted herself full-time to photography. Fox’s award-winning photographs are in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, the Southeast Museum of Photography, and the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, as well as many private and corporate collections throughout the United States and Europe. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group museum and gallery shows in the United States, Europe and Asia. Fox’s book, I Still Do: Loving and Living with Alzheimer’s, was published by powerHouse Books and released in 2009.
Joanne Lynn, MD, is a geriatrician, hospice physician, health services researcher, quality improvement advisor, and policy advocate. She now leads the Center on Elder Care and Advanced Illness for Altarum Institute. She recently has been a consultant to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a faculty member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and a clinical expert in improvement for the Care Transitions project at the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care. She has also been a senior researcher at RAND and a professor of medicine and community health at Dartmouth Medical School and at The George Washington University. Dr. Lynn has published more than 250 professional articles, and her dozen books include Handbook for Mortals (Oxford, 2001), The Common Sense Guide to Improving Palliative Care (Oxford, 2007), and Sick to Death and Not Going to Take it Any More! (University of California Press, 2004).
Charles A. Corr, PhD, is an educator, author, editor, and former chairperson of the International Work Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement. Dr. Corr has published more than 110 chapters and articles in professional journals, as well as co-authoring or co-editing more than three dozen books and booklets in the field of death, dying, and bereavement. His most recent book-length publications include Children’s Encounters with Death, Bereavement, and Coping (Springer, 2010), and the 7th edition of Death & Dying, Life & Living (Wadsworth, 2012).
Michele Reiss, PhD, is an educator, psychotherapist, and author. Her several academic positions include Assistant Program Director and Director of Behavioral Sciences for the UPMC St. Margaret Family Medicine Residency program as well as Adjunct Assistant Professor for the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine and Graduate School of Nursing. Dr. Reiss also maintains a private practice whereby she counsels those coping with life threatening illnesses such as cancer and those coping with loss and grief. Dr. Reiss is the author of Lessons in Loss and Living: Hope and Guidance for Confronting Serious Illness and Grief (Hyperion Press, 2010).