Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Aftermath of Loss: A Guidebook for Widows by Sharon Lennox and Deborah Marsh, reviewed by Gail M Murray

Self-published, 110 pages, available here and here

This slim volume is an informative and practical guide through the maze of widowhood. It offers sensible suggestions for managing the many issues ahead: finance, wills, funerals and the reams of paperwork while providing coping skills for daily living.

Authors Sharon Lennox and Deborah Marsh, both widows, met at the Writers Community of Durham Region. Realizing the need for practical support and finding none at the time of their loss, they pooled their resources to create this guide.

I was surprised to discover that 56 is the average age for widowhood.

The language is simple. Perhaps that is because grief can render one numb, like walking through heavy fog. They validate feelings of shock, pain, sadness, then offer hope. You don’t have to walk this path alone. Ask for help. Friends and relatives are eager to help, but often they don’t know how. Rely on who is there for you.

They offer concrete strategies. Of the strategies set out I find the following most helpful:
Be kind. Expect kindness. Smile. It helps the healing.Get out. Get physical – walk, exercise, take a yoga class.

They pepper their book with inspirational sayings and poetry:
Miss me a little…..but not for longAnd not with your head bowed love.Remember the love that we once sharedMiss me but let me go
They surmise that you don’t get over the loss; you get through it. “Sometime during each day, try to forget what is gone (lost), appreciate what beauty remains and look forward to easier days to come.”

The ultimate sadness will lift. Remember the love you shared and go on to re-discover you. Be open to new friends, new experiences. The future is yours.

Note: The ladies are also available for presentations. I heard them speak at Don Mills Library in Toronto. ~Gail

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Gail M. Murray seeks to capture the essence of the moment; her writing is a response to her natural and emotional environment. Her poems have been published in Blank Spaces, Wordscape, Arborealis and on Her creative nonfiction has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Trellis, Heartbeats, Renaissance, NOW Magazine, Blank Spaces, Our Canada and More of Our Canada.

See Brian Henry’s schedule hereincluding writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Saint John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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