I’m on my way to the library to return yet another remarkable novel by Jodi Picoult. It’s called “Lone Wolf” and I want to share some words her main character speaks about wolves who die, but that apply to all of us who have had “family upheavals” and soldier on.

“There is no grief among wolves. Nature has a wonderful way of making you face reality. You can sit and weep if you want, but you are likely to be killed while you’re lost in your mourning because your let your guard down.

“I have seen wolves step over a pack member who dies in a hunt and continue without looking backward. I have heard wolves call for four or five days after a member of the pack goes missing, hoping to bring her back. Death is an event. It happens, and you move on.

“If an alpha is killed, the knowledge of the pack goes with it. The entire pack can crumble in a few days time if no one steps up from the ranks or is recruited to fill the void. What follows, in that case, is anarchy. The family will disperse, be killed, or starve to death.”

That left me thinking that it is usually up to us, the widows, or a strong offspring, to step up and do all the necessary things to keep our “family/pack” together.

And Picoult closes her book with this fitting quote from Rudyard Kipling:

“For the strength of the pack is the Wolf, and the Strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”

Sandra Pesmen, www.widowslist.com

Sandra Pesmen

Sandra Pesmen, host of www.widowslist.com, also writes the weekly DR.JOB column syndicated by Career News Service. A member of The Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and The University of Illinois Media Alumni Hall of Fame, Ms. Pesmen is author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide,“ and “Writing for the Media: Public Relations and the Press.” A reporter, features writer and editor, this business journalist was features editor of Crain’s Chicago Business from its inception in 1978 to 1990, when she became corporate features editor for its parent, Crain Communications Inc. She also wrote the monthly Executive Woman column in North Shore magazine in suburban Chicago for many years. Previously, she was a reporter and features writer for the Chicago Daily News.

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