In Survival, A Widow’s Journal, Muriel Kagan Zager describes her experiences following the loss of her husband, Victor, after 56 years of marriage. Her reactions to her new status and the unexpected reactions of others to her situation provide an insight into what new realities she faced. She discovered that some people she thought would be there for her were not; and some she little knew became life-lines for her.
Psychologists and therapists in the field have praised the work; many feeling that it should be used as a text for students learning about mourning. Widows and others going through the loss of a loved one have been helped through Muriel Kagan Zager’s journey.
I am so proud of my mother who wrote Survival, A Widow’s Journal. She is a journalist who specializes as a correspondent in the Middle East and an accomplished author. She has published four novels and she just published her fifth book call Survival – A Widow’s Journal. The book is based on a true story about my father who died of pancreatic cancer on June 6, 2008. I think that anyone who has lost a loved one to cancer or any other reason will really be helped by her book. Many of you will also will enjoy reading it because she tells her story with wonderful grace. She’s a fantastic writer.
My mom let my sister and I read it before it was published and I also have read different parts of it again throughout this week. The book just came out a week ago. I want to tell you a little about my father, Victor, and his experience with cancer. He had kidney cancer aka renal cell cancer 15 years before he died of pancreatic cancer. The kidney cancer was caught early enough and they were able to take the damaged kidney from the cancer out surgically, and he required no further treatment besides the usual follow ups.
In early 2008 he was more tired than usual and his regular MD thought he had sinus infections and kept giving him antibiotics. He traveled with my mom for business and pleasure all over the world. Ten days before his diagnosis he felt horrible and his stomach got very bloated. He spent Memorial Day weekend at home in terrible pain and would not let my mom take him to the hospital. He didn’t want to bother his MD.
Finally when the holiday was over he had an MRI and it was discovered that he had metastatic cancer all over his body. If you read my mom’s book there is much more detail about what happened. We managed to get him on a medical plane to Nashville where most of the family including his grandchildren were able to see him at the hospital the last five days of his life. We later determined that he had pancreatic cancer.
I was happy that my dad lived out his last six months not knowing how sick he was and able to just enjoy his life. We had wonderful moments during his life as well as while he was in the hospital.
My father was an amazing man. I am so grateful for the time I had with him and I am so lucky that I have grown up with such special parents and siblings, and my mom continues to bring me joy every day!
I urge all of you to check out my moms book. Below is a great review written by someone very special to my mom and me.
“What does it take to face the death of your husband of 50 years? Can you be strong enough to survive and re-enter the world? Muriel Kagan Zager has written the most honest and passionate love story in “SURVIVAL, A Widow’s Journal.” As you hear the pulse of Muriel’s heart in every honest sentence, you will also feel the agony, the loneliness and the finality of the death of Victor, her spouse. There is no smoothing over the misery, the heartbreak and the predestination of “who will live and who will die,” and when. There are many books written about the wonder of life, but this is a passionate story about love, loneliness and survival. “SURVIVAL” is worth reading for anyone who has faced a future of uncertainty.”