Wednesday 13 July 2016

Book Review: Love, Loss, and Awakening

Love, loss, and awakening
This was quite the memoir! It's written well enough, but a bit to much information for me. Or too explicit! I can understand it's difficult being a caregiver, I am one. I understand the toll it takes. I am also a hospice volunteer providing respite. Basically, Freed explains how he entered the dating scene, shortly after his wife's 7-year confrontation with cancer, which is difficult after being married 32 years! 

Our first date, 2000
The book is 88 pages long, and a quick enough read, but pretty shallow. We do get the sense of how precious his late wife was, a good person, and this cannot be denied. And not just in the way that people tend to idolize those who have passed. Her accomplishments were great, as a kindergarten teacher and friend. Sadly, it left a deep void in Freed's life. 

Having dated between husbands (age 37 - 44),  I understand the 
issues of dating at a ripe age, however, Freed seemed to miss the lessons. Most of the work he did was to get his penis back in shape, rather than working on his suitability (mentally, or emotionally), as a partner. We are finally accepting women who choose not to marry, or choose not to have a family, Freed sets back the Women's Movement 50 years! He does go on about his sexual dysfunction. 

The book was mildly amusing but disconcerting to me, apparently to his children, and friends, too. 
"My dating escapades were the target of jokes from friends and family. I became their entertainment. My sons, in judgement and non-acceptance, either ignored or frowned upon my endeavors and my 'New friends.' "
No kidding? Freed's goldfish are a perfect cover image: try one fish once, or twice, throw it back.  This, of course, after he'd hooked up with hookers to get his mojo back!
"My choice is to never let my heart be satisfied without another person."
 Widowers want to fill the void. Having dated a man 4 months after his wife died, it was a huge lesson for me. His kids were unable to help out in the kitchen, and were quite used to homemaker mom and not me, a working mom who wanted independent children.This man had no idea how to be alone. He'd spent his adult years in a good, solid marriage. Just like Freed, quick to try and replace his late wife, he didn't believe in serial monogamy per se, and was looking for a partner before actually moving on from me, and his subsequent partner, I might add.  Now, I met a fair number of single men in their 50s looking for women in their 30s, most were single and happy that way. As a mature woman or man, it's a tough balance.

The lessons I learned included the fact that desperation can be smelled by a potential partner. You have to work on being a whole, likable person, with good values. Finding a partner, if you so desire, is more about doing things you enjoy, spending time in the company of friends, and working at being well-adjusted and becoming a person another would enjoy as a friend. Get out and volunteer, you are needed if you have any interests or skills!

From the publisher

Dennis Freed eventually emerged from mourning, his heart ready for life’s next chapter. Nervously, he began to go out with women again, and endured all the awkward—and hilarious—embarrassments a man who hadn’t been on a date in decades might expect. He kept on trying, embracing and trusting the process. Love, Loss, and Awakening chronicles a courageous and uplifting journey through sorrow, the search for new love, and the rediscovery of happiness.


Olga said...

Well, as someone who is just getting around to thinking about getting back into a dating scene -- a senior dating scene -- I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Ick.

Karen said...

Just glad I didn't meet up with a Mr. Freed after getting back into the dating scene after being widowed. OOie.

William Kendall said...

Good review- though not my sort of material.

Red said...

One thing this book was good for is to allow you to comment on the redating situation. I don't think I'll read this guy's book. My Dad remarried after Mom's passing. He got lucky as he was so lost he didn't know what was going on. They were married for 30 years and we had a great step mom.

Dennis Freed said...

Hi Jennifer, I appreciate the candid review and it has enticed me to write another chapter. I am going to add a chapter to the book about being alone for so many years as a long term caregiver. I can understand your reaction as I reflect upon my past wife and my personnel thoughts as we went through the healing process. This book affects everyone very differently and that was its intent. I wish you and your family the best and may the Devine bless us all as our pathways unfold. Dennis