Tuesday, November 4, 2014

WHAT FREEDOM SMELLS LIKE: A #Memoir by Amy Lewis @AmyLewisAuthor #Excerpt #NonFiction

There are certain advantages to being a widow. As a trade- off they are certainly not worth it, but from one who always searches for the silver lining, they are worth mentioning. I sat on the front steps of a run-down Creole cottage, the location of a weekly widow’s group I joined, and talked to Jim, who had lost his wife to cancer two years ago.

“In the weeks and months after her death, I experienced a sense of clarity about life unlike anything I had ever known. The lucidity is mixed in with the shock and grief and craziness of the process, but it is not insanity. This gift is true wisdom. But know this. It fades with time. So use it. Use it before it goes away.”

There were other advantages as well and many in my group reported the same experiences:

Weight loss: Food held little interest or taste for me, and the pounds miraculously began to melt off of me with no effort on my part.

The W Retort: The cards, wishes, and calls from loved ones came and then after the first month mostly went away. But I was quick to use the W word whenever I needed it or wanted it to protect me. “Hey my husband just died, get out of my face”. “I can’t possibly deal with your two hundred thousand dollar bill” I told the hospital administrator on the phone. “I was just widowed, you know, thanks to your incompetent doctors.” It was just an insurance billing error they later said. I managed to get about six grand in late tax penalties removed with a finely crafted letter to the IRS utilizing the W word. The distinction of young W even more effective.

Fearlessness: Best of all, I simply wasn’t afraid of the things that normally I would be. In fact, nothing seemed to scare me. The typical “bad day” went undistinguished against the backdrop of the worst year of my life. Washing machine breaks shooting out suds that flood the laundry room? Que sera sera. You want to rob me? Ok. You want to audit me. Be my guest. You want to shoot me? That looks just like my husband’s gun. Oh my dead husband, he just died. Let me see that thing. I want to touch it.

In the first three months, I cycled between states of unbearable sadness, confusion and anger. The pain smashed into me in waves. I felt reasonably normal and then reality would hit. Most days still felt like a dream state. This can’t be happening. This didn’t just happen. A huge sense of incredulousness hung over me like the first time Truth struck me. Oh no you did not just hit me. Oh no you did not just get sick on me and die.

Who are you? And where are you? I missed his touch. How big and muscular his hands were. I missed his ear-to-ear grin and his smell and his face and his laugh and his skin and his tattoos and the way he greeted me each morning: Good morning Mrs. Lewis. I missed how secure I felt with him as CEO of our business. But, I didn’t miss his moods, his fist, his threats, his guns, his jealousy, and his complete domination over me. Day to day life was easier for me as a widow; that I could not deny.


Diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder, Amy struggled with depression and an addiction to sharp objects. Even hospitalization didn't help to heal her destructive tendencies. It took a tumultuous relationship with a man named Truth to bring her back from the depths of her own self-made hell.Amy's marriage to dark, intriguing Truth was both passionate and stormy. She was a fair-skinned southern girl from New Orleans. He was a charming black man with tribal tattoos, piercings, and a mysterious past. They made an unlikely pair, but something clicked. During their early marriage, they pulled themselves out of abject poverty into wealth and financial security practically overnight. Then things began to fall apart.

Passionate and protective, Truth also proved violent and abusive. Amy’s own self-destructive tendencies created a powerful symmetry. His sudden death left Amy with an intense and warring set of emotions: grief for the loss of the man she loved, relief she was no longer a target for his aggression.

Conflicted and grieving, Amy found herself at a spiritual and emotional crossroads, only to receive help from an unlikely source: Truth himself. Feeling his otherworldly presence in her dreams, Amy seeks help from a famous medium.

Her spiritual encounters change Amy forever. Through Truth, she learns her soul is eternal and indestructible, a knowledge that gives Amy the courage to pursue her own dreams and transform herself both physically and emotionally. Her supernatural encounters help Amy resolve the internal anger and self-destructive tendencies standing between her and happiness, culminating in a sense of spiritual fulfillment she never dreamed possible.

An amazing true story, What Freedom Smells Like is told with courage, honesty, and a devilishly dark sense of humor.

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Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
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